BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Capital area stroke survivors are expressing themselves through art. The American Stroke Association is hosting a number of "Strokes for Stroke" events at various rehabilitation facilities in the Baton Rouge area.
"We're focusing on taking their memories and trying to transfer onto canvass," said Kerin Spears, Vice President Greater Louisiana, American Stroke Association.
Art therapy has shown an early promise in helping stroke patients in recovery with verbal communication, depression, and the physical pain associated with stroke.
"Art can be part of therapy for stroke survivors because it gets them to use not only their arms, but it may even be focusing on the arm that used to be the non-dominant one. They're having to switch gears," said Spears. "Any movement mobility that they can gain can help them regain use of the mobility they used to have. It's therapy for the mind as well."
The stroke survivor's paintings will be part of a traveling exhibit for the next year. They will be on display at a different medical facility or art gallery each month.
"This is a huge effort made possible by John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fisher who support what we're doing with the American Stroke Association, but they also have a love for the arts. Strokes for Stroke combine their two passions," said Spears.
May is National Stroke Month. The American Stroke Association hopes the Strokes for Stroke events will help with awareness.
"We want people to learn about the warning signs. Time is critical if someone is experiencing a stroke. Time is critical. If you act quickly you have a better chance of surviving," said Spears.
The American Stroke Association says knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is the first step to ensuring medical help is received immediately.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF STROKE
- SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding
- SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance coordination
- SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause
Call 911 immediately if you observe any of these symptoms. The American Stroke Association encourages you to note the time of the first symptom because it can affect treatment decisions.
For each minute a stroke goes untreated and blood flow to the brain continues to be blocked, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons. This could mean that a person's speech, movement, memory, and much more can be affected.