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Stroke Survivor, Peter Blair, Shares His Top-Ten Tips For Stroke Survivors 5

In July of 2005, Peter Blair had a stroke. It changed him dramatically. He went from a fully functioning adult running his own business to an old and rather simple child. He was forced to retire from full time work and though he has recovered some ability, he still has learning difficulties, aphasia, hemianopia and memory problems.

While recovering he learned about some of the hidden social effects of stroke and how to deal with them, and it is that knowledge that he wants to share with other survivors, their families and care-givers.

Embrace Technology

Before I had the confidence to use technology to help me get about, I had something called a sister. The moment I knew about it I rang my sister and told her the event I had to go to, the time and place. She would make the return call early on the morning of the event giving me instructions about where to go, how to get there,  what  to wear, what to take and how to get back. This arrangement worked well for a long time.

When I gained enough confidence to do this myself I started to use technology. This gave me a great sense of achievement. Even “old technology” like a Dictaphone or a home Answerphone can help. They can be used to record information such as future events, appointments, journeys and shopping lists. Because the messages you leave yourself can be repeated as often as you like, the information transfers to long term memory, which is rarely affected by stroke. Of course more modern technology like mobile phones and computers are invaluable too. I have found 3 items of modern technology particularly useful in my circumstances.  

When I am out and about the handheld Trekker Breeze Talking GPS tells me where I am and where I have chosen to go. It also lets me record details of a specific journey and to add additional useful information about that journey. In the past I had to be accompanied on each journey. Now I need only rehearse the journey once and record it on to the Trekker Breeze to be able to do it again and again. More details are on the following site:

Read-Right is a therapy developed by University College London (UCL) and funded by the Stroke Association for those stroke patients with reading difficulty caused by Hemianopia, a condition known as Hemianopic Alexia. Accessed online, the UCL software uses moving text taken from a selection of published books, including, for instance, some Harry Potter novels. The speed, size and colour of the text and the background are controlled by the viewer and can be varied to suit individual need. Improvement in reading ability can be measured by the viewer and is used by UCL in their research. It works too. My reading has improved enormously since using this system. Participation is free. To read more about it and find out how to subscribe go to  Because I cannot yet read newspapers, the Video and Audio button on the BBC News website was a great find. It allows me to keep right up to date with news. Simply click on this link to get to the page

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By: Peter Blair, Stroke Survivor since July 2005

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