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Carers of stroke survivors focus of new research grants

Australian researchers will tackle communication between stroke survivors and carers, develop technology that can help in recovery and help to alleviate the emotional strain on loved ones thanks to a new round of grants.

The Stroke Foundation 2020 Research Grant Round saw four project share $200,000 in funding.

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee chair Professor Amanda Thrift said this year the group specifically focused on improving stroke survivor’s quality of life by better supporting carers.

“One in four of us will experience a stroke in our lifetime and it will leave most who survive it with an ongoing disability,” Thrift said.

“The majority of those who survive stroke will return home, with care needs falling on their parents, spouse, children or siblings.

“The sudden and abrupt nature of stroke places huge demands on family members and can come at a personal cost to the carer.”

The four recipients were:

  • Dr Kirstine Shrubsole, Southern Cross University, who will lead a study focussed on increasing the number of speech pathologists who teach carers how to better understand and support loved ones with the communication disorder aphasia.
  • Dr Elizabeth Lynch, The University of Adelaide, for a research project aimed at curbing the emotional strain on carers after a loved one has a stroke.
  • Dr Joosup Kim, Monash University, who will investigate whether patients with stroke are getting the treatment and support they need to live well once they leave hospital and return home.
  • Emily Ramage, The University of Newcastle, to roll out technology at home that allows survivors to access an exercise and diet program aimed at preventing a secondary stroke.
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