Living with Stroke

A Guide for Families

By Richard C Senelick, M.D., Peter W. Rossi, M.D., and Karla Doughtery


By Lin Wisman

"Living  with Stroke" by Richard C Senelick, M.D., Peter W. Rossi, M.D., and Karla Doughtery is a primer for those in the stroke family. The book has four parts. The first two deal with the basics of what causes a stroke, The second two parts deal with rehabilitation. If you are looking for basic stroke education this is a book for you.


In the beginning of the book the authors describe the connections between the heart and brain. This section is very informative not only as it pertains to stroke but as general information. Many terms are explained so that non-medical individuals can understand. The different types of strokes are covered as well as risk factors, and warnings.


The book goes into detail of the different types of strokes. I found this helpful not only in understanding the type I had, but in understanding what others have to say about their strokes. Often people initially assume that all strokes are like theirs. This is not true. This book helps the reader to understand the differences.


Various tests such as CT scans and MRI's are discussed. The differences between the different diagnostic tools are explained. Medications used to treat stroke are described.


Different types of rehabilitation therapy are discussed including the often used team approach. The authors explain the large amount of time and effort necessary for results. They provide a helpful checklist for the family to select a rehabilitation facility. This along with discussion of what makes for good rehabilitation could be extremely helpful to the family who is seeking help for a stroke survivor. There are many factors, which make the difference between rehabilitation success and failure. This book helps to explain these. The various rehabilitation roles are explained. This aids the family in understanding the arrangements to be made.


A chapter is spent explaining physical therapy, how it is designed and what can be expected from it. Working with paralysis and spasticity are covered. This section includes helpful tips. Tools of the physical therapist are described.  A chapter is provided giving information on Occupational, Speech and Recreational Therapies. Again helps are listed. Many different problems are discussed.


Emotional issues warrant their own chapter. This insightful writing explains what the stroke survivor and family must go through to begin to build life anew. The feelings of being overwhelmed and depressed are addressed.


The final section of the book addresses the issue of the caregiver. The enormous stresses and strains to families are discussed. The explanation of the feelings caregivers often have can help the caregiver understand problems and build a plan. A list in included to aid the caregiver to make the home more stroke survivor friendly. Advice is also given for dealing with common problems.


This is a very good book for caregivers and families to have as a resource. It educates in what to expect and how to manage stroke recovery. For the stroke survivor it also gives data that can help manage recovery. This is a great book to have while a loved one is in therapy. It provides the family with information they can use to select and work with a rehabilitation center and helps for providing care at home.


Order the book.

Copyright  October  2003

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

All rights reserved