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Help Yourself While Helping Other Stroke Survivors

Most stroke survivors find themselves in need at some point in their lives and today you may be the person with the ability to help, but tomorrow you may be the recipient of someone else's volunteer effort.

Consider volunteering at a stroke center visiting with new stroke patients.

Stroke centers try to educate stroke patients about stroke; lifestyle and recovery, but the information may mean more coming from a stroke survivor. It’s human nature to want advice from those who have “been there, done that”.

If you can meet with a new stroke survivor, share your experiences, fears, accomplishments and they can see that you are doing well, have recovered (even with permanent physical disabilities) and have the energy to volunteer it can give them hope.

As a stroke survivor you can also provide an empathetic connection to stroke patient and their families when they need it the most.
According to Penny Loretto, Associate Director of Career Services and founder of Career Choice, we often think that volunteering takes a certain kind of person; but the truth is that people who volunteer their time actually feel better about life and humanity. They have learned that the secret of happiness is appreciating what you have and sharing it with others. Happiness is a mind set.

People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons, especially wanting to help others. But it's a fact that volunteering is beneficial to those who volunteer.

Volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others, according to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service that reviews a compelling collection of recent scientific research.

Volunteering can provide you with a new sense of creativity, motivation, a more. Benefits of volunteering include:

Sense of Community
The stroke community is more than 7 million strong. Connect with the stroke community on a local, regional or national level. Volunteering is all about helping others and having an impact on people’s wellbeing. What better way is there to connect with your other stroke survivors and give something back?

New Friends and an Expanded Network
Volunteering is a great way to meet other stroke survivors, strengthen ties to the community and expand your support network.
Learn or develop a new skill 
Volunteering is a can introduce you to something new that you are really good at and help you to develop new skills.

Practice Skills
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop a number of skills after a stroke including, social, communication, planning skills.

Boost Confidence
Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence post-stroke. Doing doing good work for others and the community creates a natural sense of accomplishment and pride. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Kick Depression
Depression after a stroke is very common. Volunteering after a stroke can reduce the risk of depression. Social isolation is a primary cause of depression and volunteering keeps you in contact with people.

By: Staff Writer Amy McCraken

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"Civic engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that's free to join. "

Tips for Getting Started Volunteering

First, ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do.

For example, do I want:

  • to make it better around where I live
  • to meet people who are different from me
  • to try something new
  • to do something with my spare time
  • to see a different way of life and new places
  • to have a go at the type of work I might want to do as a full-time job
  • to do more with my interests and hobbies
  • to do something I’m good at

The best way to volunteer is to match your personality and interests. Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search.

Source: World Volunteer Web

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