By Eva Bartee
The Kelowna Stroke Branch is an organization that has been active in our community for 35 years. We are a non-profit organization that works closely with anyone recovering from a stroke.
Our goal is to enable individuals to live as well and independently as possible.
The tangible results from the branch include increasing self esteem, lowering incidence of depression, maintaining a plan for recovery, reducing the dependence on acute care beds and preventing admission to long term facilities where possible.
This is where the stroke recovery branches come into the picture. The Kelowna branch was started 35 years ago but many people do not know about us. We are a support group for victims of stroke, their spouses and families living at home.
After a stroke most people’s lives change so drastically that they do not want to go back out into the public. This is where the support of the club is necessary in our community.
Public relations is very important. We raise funds by having a craft bazaar, and bake sale twice a year. We also receive donations from some service clubs in our community.
We are a member of the Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia and the March of Dimes, not the Heart and Stroke Foundation. We do not get any funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation as many people think we do.
The program consists of exercise, then lunch together. Activities follow lunch each week.
We have educational programs, informative speakers, caregiver meetings, mental aerobics, crafts, discussion groups, bowling, lunch out, speech maintenance programs as needed and much more.
We have an annual Christmas dinner with Santa and gifts. We also have an anniversary lunch in February and a year end picnic in June.
Our branch has an executive committee who work closely with myself. I have been with the club for 34 years, 28 of those years as the coordinator. I am the liaison between the hospital, health unit, rehab and doctors, and will provide informative talks, when requested, to any organization.
We meet every week on Thursday at 380 Leathead Road, in St Aiden’s Anglican Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All stroke survivors living at home, their spouses, family and caregivers are welcome. Consider our group as your weekly outing.
For those who cannot drive, The Handi Dart Bus can be arranged.
For more information please call Phyllis Shkrabuik at 250-762-2118.