Tucson Medical Center, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and HealthSouth Rehab Institute of Tucson, hosted the community’s first Saving Strokes, last Friday, Nov. 18, at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon.
Golf, along with many other types of physical activity, can be a driving force in the physical recovery of stroke survivors. But disability need not stop a stroke survivor from playing – or learning – golf, which can improve strength and flexibility and provide a valuable social outlet for survivors and their caregivers.
Saving Strokes offered an opportunity for people to enjoy an afternoon meeting new people who have experienced similar challenges, take advantage of a number of health screenings and learning about post-stroke traditional and complementary healing and wellness.
Molly Griffis, R.N., TMC’s stroke coordinator shared photos and thoughts about the event:
It was an absolutely beautiful sunny November day, the weather was in the mid-70’s and perfect for Saving Strokes. The event started out in the Lodge where stroke survivors and caregivers/partners were greeted by Michael Lally, R.N, manager of the TMC Neurology/Neurosurgery unit and members of his staff.
Participants received an AHA/ASA bag full of goodies from TMC, HealthSouth, Carondelet and Northwest Hospital.
About 20 stroke survivors and their care partners went upstairs to enjoy a lunch of soup and sandwiches. Dr. David Teeple, TMC Stroke Medical Director, led a discussion on preventing recurrent stroke through risk reduction; and Jon Foote, a stroke survivor spoke on his personal journey of survival. He did a great job motivating and inspiring the Saving Strokes participants.
The stroke survivors and care partners were carefully shuttled to the green via golf carts, where they each participated in pre-golf screenings, including blood-pressure screenings by TMC staff, and safety, balance, and grip assessments by HealthSouth therapists.
The participants then went to the driving range where Ventana golf pros provided golf lessons to everyone. Even those who were confined to wheelchairs or utilized walkers were able to participate!
After the golf lessons, participants could explore different comfort tent offerings. TMC provided information on the signs and symptoms of stroke, risk reduction, coaching and support. We also handed out our stroke bookmarks and our left brain/right brain booklets.
TMC Senior Services had a booth on the many services on our El Dorado campus. Bob and Wanda, the co-facilitators of the TMC stroke support group were helpful throughout the day.
Researchers from the University of Arizona spoke about research on the effectiveness of Tai Chi vs. Silver Sneakers vs. regular day-to-day choices for stroke survivors.
And there were generous volunteers from RUBS providing chair massages to stroke survivors and care partners.
Once survivors and care partners decided to call it a day, TMC staff and our Saving Strokes’ team drove them back to their vehicles.
It was truly a wonderful day for survivors, care partners and volunteers!