Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shoes and Boots: Traction Devices.

Walking on non-technical snow or ice? These little gizmos slip easily onto your footwear to reduce the odds of slipping. They stow easily in your jacket or pack pocket when not needed. I used in the alley to throw garbage in the garbage bin but the alley in winter is covered with ice.  Instead of slipping or sliding on the ice, I walk easily using the little gizmos with confidence.
  • Natural rubber, wound with coils to create hundreds of biting edges to grip snow and ice.
  • Removable performance straps.
  • Provides traction through 360 degrees, for security when traversing gentle slopes.
Look at the devices at Mountain Equipment Co-op or Lee Valley (and many other stores have the same or similar product).


What is unilateral spatial neglect?

Left side neglect or unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is estimated to occur in 40% of stroke patients. Health professionals say unilateral spatial neglect is  "characterized by the inability to orient or respond to stimuli appearing on the side contralateral to the brain lesion". A more understandable explanation comes from the StrokEngine website:

GRASP - Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program

GRASP - Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program
by Janice Eng, PhD, PT/OT and Jocelyn Harris, PhD, OT

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ad-hoc Darts and Friends and Acquaintances - A Christmas Party!

Hi Ad-hoc Darts and Friends and Acquaintances,

BRIANwaves December 2011

 BRIANwaves (Remue-MÉNINGES)

In This Issue -- December 2011:
Calgary Congress plans in gear
Provinces are using stroke report
results to drive change
iSCORE a useful tool for clinicians
Mr. Noodles wins 2011
Canadian Salt Lick Award
Life After Stroke website a valuable resource

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Some therapists recommend splints and others do not.

Some therapists recommend splints and others do not.  There is conflicting evidence about  hand splints  Some therapists and research  say they reduce spasticity or contractures, but others say a splint doesn’t  do anything.  These are the links to  dueling articles—one says it works and one says it doesn’t:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas at Hilltop for Ad-doc Darts !

Prepare for Christmas !
Sharpen your Darts !
Tuesday December 6th @ 7:00 pm 
at the Hilltop Pub

Darts -- "Ad-hoc Darts"

     We are celebrating Christmas at the Hilltop!  Come out and play Darts! Or just come to Talk. Wear a Christmas Hat! 

There will be Prizes for the best Dart Game of:
  - Round the Clock,
  - The most Bulls eyes in a row,
  - Shanghai.
    (Instructions will be provided)

Parking or Bus:
  • Lots of parking -- absolutely free.
    • Ask for a ride from a friend!
  • Very efficient for the Bus #1 - it takes only 12 minutes:
    • Take the LRT to Bay/Enterprise Station,
    • Hop the Bus #1 going east,
    • Get off at Hilltop 8220 - 106 Ave,
    • Going home just take Bus #1 going west, 
    • Bus #1 leaves every 20 min. to 1:30AM (we are done usually 9:30PM).

View Larger Map

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ad-hoc Darts at the Elephant & Castle

Ad-hoc Darts at the Elephant & Castle
Tuesday at 7pm on Nov 29, 2011.
Located in City Centre - downtown - 3rd floor near the Bay.
10200 102 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 4B7
(780) 424-4555

We will examine the Elephant & Castle for Ad-hoc Darts group but we need to know:
  • Transport by LRT or bus is excellent and very close (1 block),  but how about the car - is there is park-aide close? cost? where is it?
  • You have some disability - escalator OK? elevator OK? where is it?
  • Pub meals - cost? good meal? choice?
  • Drinks - cost?  they have draft? they have Guinness??
  • We will go - every week? every month? frequent? never?
If you have an opinion please talk to either Carrie, Randy or John on Tuesday night. Opinions are much more valuable than silence - even a little opinion has great importance!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tips for Improving Fine Motor Skills

Excerpted from "Fine Tuning: Tips for Improving Fine Motor Skills", Stroke Connection Magazine, September/October 2003 (Science review May 2008)
        Fine motor skills are small, precise, coordinated movements, like using your fingers to pick up a coin. Fine motor skills require integrating muscular, skeletal and neurological functions. Physical and occupational therapists can work with you to practice these skills after stroke.
       “The theory is that you can create new pathways in the brain to compensate for injured areas,” says occupational therapist Rondi Blackburn. “The key is to use your affected side as much as possible and to repeat activities several times each day.
       “At Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation ....
Read the full article.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Elf -- Movie -- December 2nd at MacEwan!

Free Drop in Event at: 
         MacEwan  109 St. & 104 Ave.
Dive In Movies on Friday December 2nd:
      6:30 - Activities
      7:00 - Movie

Please come to the movie especially Stroke Survivors and friends!


Friday, November 11, 2011

“My Life is not a Tragedy” Players

From Edmonton:
There is a play at the Glenrose
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
at 7:00pm
At the Bill Black Auditorium - inside the Glenrose.

“My Life is not a Tragedy” Players.

Cost is free!  Everyone is welcome to come.

 Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre – 10230-111 Avenue
(North across from Royal Alex Hospital)

Come in the Front Doors, ask at the desk 
for the location of the Bill Black Auditorium.

Putting the Possibility in Disability

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
by Jackie Poff

Some stroke survivors remember vividly their strokes and the events leading up to and around their strokes. I personally remember very little about my stroke – thankfully! 

It has been three and one half years since my stroke, which took place on a very cold morning in January 2008. But here is what I do know about that day. On January 22nd (the day before my stroke) I was taking advantage of my lunch hour at work by taking with me my daughter, Nicole, who I had had the great pleasure of hiring onto my staff. We headed out to start apartment hunting for her. I received a phone from my mother informing me that my grandfather, Jack, who I was named after, had passed away at ninety years old. 

That evening our family gathered at grandpa’s house in Tofield to discuss his passing. We arrived back home on our acreage near Spruce Grove much later than we intended. We all crawled into bed exhausted and I, as always, slept like a log. 

I did remember to set my alarm for 6:30 in order to give Michelle, our youngest daughter, then thirteen, a ride to school for an early morning handball practice. When the alarm went off, I stumbled out of bed and went to the bathroom to run a brush through my hair. My husband Larry, a light sleeper, followed me and asked me why I was up so early. As he questioned me, suddenly my words became gibberish and I started to fall over. Larry, wondering what the heck was going on, caught me and rushed me to our bed. I was not responding. Nothing I did or said made any sense. 

Larry recognized that I must be having a stroke. He managed to call our families and yell to the kids. He threw me in the car and got me to the nearest hospital, the Sturgeon Hospital in St. Albert.

SRAE Newsletter - November 2011

Wendy Pangrass:

Not only is Wendy Pangrass an accomplished speaker, speaking at the International Womans year in Ottawa, she has also been a member of many boards such as YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, Strathcona County Family Services Advisory Committee, as well as many others. On Father’s Day, June 15, 2008, when she suddenly developed numbness of her left side and the loss of her speech, she knew instinctively that something was wrong. “My son is a Firefighter/EMT and he has always told me to call 911, and if need be, always stay on the line” says Wendy. “I did and when they answered all I could do was grunt. They were not exactly sure of my need but told me to stay on the line until the paramedics arrived. In less than 10 minutes they were there and after a quick assessment I was off to the hospital.”

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Tie Shoes with One Hand !

If the stroke left you with the use of one-hand tie shoes can be a problem but you can:
  • get shoes with velcro straps or slip on,
  • get elastic laces,
  • learn to tie shoes with one-hand.
These videos will show you a trick to tie your shoes with one-handed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Release Your Potential

National Stroke Association is a proud advocacy partner of the Release Your Potential spasticity education campaign. Spasticity is a condition affecting many stroke survivors. It does not allow voluntary relaxation of muscles and makes movement, posture and balance difficult. It can affect your ability to move one or more of your limbs, or to move one side of your body. While there is no cure for spasticity, there are treatments.

    Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the November 8 Release Your Potential®spasticity webinar!

See the full article from National Stroke Association.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Fight to Give Voice to Stroke Patients.

If you meet Christy Campbell when she's well-rested, it's not apparent that there's anything wrong with her. But if she's tired -- and she tires easily -- her speech starts to fall apart.

Read about Christy in

Also see: InteRACT.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Assisted Waste Collection

The Edmonton City's Waste Management Branch offers an assisted waste collection service for customers who have difficulty getting their recycling or garbage to the curb or lane. Collectors will walk up pick up garbage and recycling from the outside of the front or back door of the home. There is no additional charge for this service. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

NewsLetter - September 2011 (DRAFT)

Exercise your Aging Brain
Physical exercise isn't just good for the body—it's good for the brain. For anyone who hasn’t started exercising yet, take heart: studies suggest that starting an exercise program at any age and in relatively small doses may help improve your memory and prevent dementia.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prochazka Study

Subjects needed for study on improving 

hand function after stroke

Dr. Arthur Prochazka in the Centre of Neuroscience, University of Alberta, is presently conducting research study entitled:



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canadians ask questions about stroke

Every year, about 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke that results in death or disability. In honour of Stroke Awareness Month, Dimensions invited Canadians to ask questions about stroke, which we then posed to a scientist in the field....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Target for Stroke Therapy Drugs

New understanding of post-stroke neurons could transform patient treatment and recovery. A drug that aids neuron repair has improved recovery in mice by as much as 50 percent.

Every year, nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke. It's the country's third-leading cause of death, and a primary cause of severe, long-term disability—the damage it does to the brain is largely irreparable. But a study published online yesterday in the journal Nature describes how a drug helped repair the brains of mice to a degree that was previously impossible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

There are Differences in Rehabilitation Outcomes in Different Countries

In a comparison of stroke rehabilitation in 4 European countries, Lisbet De Wit and colleagues discovered that gross motor and functional recovery were better in the German and Swiss centers compared with the UK center, but Personal self-care recovery was better in the UK compared with the German center.

Previous studies in the same centers indicated that German and Swiss patients received more therapy per day. This was not the result of more staff, but of a more efficient use of human resources. This study indicates potential for improving rehabilitation outcomes in the UK and Belgian centers, Motor and Functional Recovery After Stroke (Stroke. 2007; 38:2101-2107).

Recognizing stroke in kids key to treatment

Stroke doesn't affect just adults.
That's what the family of a 15-year-old Lethbridge boy has found out.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Improving Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy — which can be defined as "your beliefs in your own competence"-- is associated with better outcomes post-stroke including: quality of life or perceived health status, depression, Activities of Daily living and, to a certain extent, physical functioning.

Depression and Stroke

You have seen the ads on TV that say -- ‘Depression Hurts”.
It may hurt two ways in stroke:

Sexuality after Stroke

Survivors of stroke experience changes and difficulties in many areas of their spousal and family relationships. Within their role of husband or wife, stroke survivors described a lack of control and dramatic changes in their perception of self.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Consequences of Mild Stroke

Most people who have mild strokes are discharged home directly from emergency. 
A review of 13 research articles on mild stroke by Tellier and Rochette stressed that while mild stroke survivors may not have major impairments that affect their activities of daily living, they still should be assessed by a rehabilitation team. Mild stroke survivors  may have small deficits that can make it difficult for them to manage complex activities the same as they did pre-stroke.  Small changes in memory, ability to multi-task, or read and write can cause   stroke survivors to have difficulty coping.  Co-workers or family may  not understand why stroke survivors are making errors because they believe that they are "completely recovered". Tellier and Rochette suggest that rehabilitation can help remediate some of the problems experienced by mild stroke survivors.

 Read the full article

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Resilience in Aging

Title of project:
"Resilience in Aging: Identifying Factors that Contribute to Resilience in Older Persons following Stroke".

Caregivers of Survivors of Brain Injury and Stroke

albertacaregiverAlberta Caregiver College is a virtual college dedicated to providing courses to enhance the knowledge and skills of their family member(s).

For further information click on Upcoming Courses

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What happens to care-partners’ support?

In 2002, the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, headed by Roy Romanow contended that human resources were  a key factor in health care service delivery. Romanow recognized that doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals like physiotherapists, speech therapists are important in terms of quality and accessibility of the health system.  However, Romanow also recognized that the health system would be overwhelmed if we had to pay for all the unpaid care provided by family care-partners.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mirror Box Therapy is used to help regain hand function.

The patient places the affected limb inside the box and the “normal” limb rests outside of the box with its mirror image replacing the affected limb. The patient looks into the mirror on the side with the normal limb and makes “mirror symmetric” movements. Because the patient is seeing the reflected image of the normal hand moving, it appears as if the affected limb is also moving. Through the use of this artificial visual feedback it becomes possible for the patient to “move” the affected limb and to reduce pain.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fraser Wins the Cup !!


 Ad-hoc Darts Cup (and X-O's to boot !!)

Here is Fraser right after he wins the trophy!
It was a good night to do this - a good crowd

Sunday, June 05, 2011

SRAE Seek, Eat and Speak for Aphasia!

To celebrate June as “Aphasia Awareness Month”, the Aphasia Awareness Committee of Alberta held its Second Annual event, “Seek, Eat and Speak for Aphasia,” on

aac Sunday, June 5, 2011 with the Stroke Recovery Association Edmonton (SRAE) picnic.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

SRAE Newsletter - June 2011

Jackie Poff: “Stroke awareness is important”

Who expects a stroke at 38 years of age? Jackie Poff didn’t She was the senior buyer for one of the largest computing supply companies in North America and mother of two girls age 18 and 13. She had a staff of 12 including her daughter. Jackie loved the customers. She laughs wryly, “I took care of them right up until the day before my stroke” “My grandfather passed away the day before, I put orders in for several customers and the next day had the stroke. “I did get to the hospital and they did give me the clot-buster TPa, but it didn’t work. It did artery damage that I have to have something done with now.” But I lucky, they transferred me to the University Hospital and Dr.Findlay did surgery to remove part of my skull because there was so much brain swelling. That saved my life. From there I went back to Stony Plain Hospital and then to the Glenrose.” 

Letter from Mary Suggett

Here is the letter from Mary Suggett.  The first sentence is very clear (and I add emphasis):
"You may link to directly from your blog. ..."
 I changed the style to the direct link to (and from S.S.Tattler.

cheers / SSTattler

January 5, 2012


Dear Mr. Anderson,

You may link to directly from your blog. But unless you’d be willing to enter into an agreement to pay for the cartoons you wish to post. I’m afraid this is your only option. Just as you point out in your email I’ve quoted below.
I can link to to specific cartoon:  "<a href="" title=""> <img src="" I /></a><br />".  No trouble at all and the image is in the site not in my site.  But legal it is unclear to me."

I hope this helps.

Mary Suggett, Permissions Director
Universal Uclick
1130 Walnut St.
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
816-581-7500 x7394
msuggett @

From: John C.Anderson
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:36 PM
To: Adams, Patty
Cc: Anderson John
Subject: Hi Patty, I'm John C. Anderson and I need help/permission….
Hi Patty Adams,

   I am John C. Anderson and I have a personal "blogSpot" or  I had a stroke 15 years ago and  I have aphasia, so if you can call me at 780-628-4222 but e-mail is better.  

   The past 3 months I put cartoons, mostly Dilbert, and then I found recently For Better and For Worse starting 2006.  It tell you the story about 'Grandpa Jim' and he has a stroke -- it takes more than 60+ strips.  Approx 20 - 30 people in Edmonton with various kind of stroke they loves the series of FBandFW cartoons specially about stroke.   They told me (and I agree) to re-publish on my web site with FBandFW & stroke, probably every week, to the end of the series.  But I have a problem:
    • Remove the links to cartoon -- it is illegal,
    • or you want lots of money for, of course, a fee,
    • or my code it OK but it has to be modified with ...?,
    • or anything "links" with will cost $0.00,
    • .... ??

John C. Anderson

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Halt the Salt?

A high-sodium diet increases blood pressure and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and dementia. High sodium consumption has also been linked to osteoporosis, asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.

Fewer Strokes in Alberta

There has been a 23% decline in the age-standardized rate of emergency department and in-patient hospital visits for stroke between 2004/05 and 2008/09 in Alberta.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

SRAE Newsletter - May 2011

Akira Peters  "I like GPS -- it gives me direction when I'm driving"
When Akira had a hemorrhagic stroke in June 2008,everyone was shocked! How could a young, lively university student have a stroke? Akira was active and fun. All though school she won awards, and now just as Akira was all set to begin her final year of a Combined Honours degree in English and History, St. Thomas More College of the University of Saskatchewan she had a stroke. The cause of her stroke was an arterial malformation which was originally diagnosed as brain syndrome Moyamoya.

YouTube May/2011

General Stroke




12/May/2012 Prosopagnosia






Moyamoya Disease



Stroke or Seizure