We’d like to give you a glimpse into how we develop our programs. We’re proud of the work and research that we put into them, and we thought you might be interested to know what goes on behind the scenes before we offer a course. Our process starts with finding out what stroke patients want to improve. Then we figure out how to help them get there.
Developing the courses
In order to meet the needs of stroke patients, we asked them what they wanted to improve. The top answer we got was walking. So that’s where we started. In our quest to find the right exercises and support, we turned to the experts — scientists!
What many people don’t realize is there are hundreds of research studies going on looking for ways to improve the lives of stroke patients. But it can take years for the outcomes of the research to become public knowledge. That’s where we come in to bridge the gap. We’re dedicated to bringing you these findings much earlier and giving you ways to apply them in your rehabilitation. So, our team read through scientific study after scientific study to find out what works best for stroke patients who are trying to improve their walking.
Once we learned what worked in research studies, we carefully chose exercises and an order for those activities to create an effective plan. We also built in monitoring tools so that patients can see how their bodies are reacting to and changing from the program. Being able to see positive effects is a great motivating factor.
Testing our courses
Once we’ve built a course, we test it in the real world. We invite a group of stroke survivors to try one of our 6-week programs. In the case of our walking course, our group of patients met every Saturday for two hours. With the help of a little coffee and cookies to get us through the intense two hours, we accomplished a lot.
In the first half of the class, we evaluated how the patients were performing the challenges from the previous week. In the second hour, we prepared patients for the next week by introducing new exercises, explaining why these exercises work, and making sure our group knew how to do them before they went home.
Homework and support during the week
Each week, our patients left with homework. We gave them a daily plan that consisted of exercises that they needed to do for a certain amount of time or for a specified number of repetitions. Was the homework easy? No, it had to be challenging. Otherwise, there would be no change.
But our group stayed motivated. We checked up with them twice a week through WhatsApp or email asking about how they were doing and encouraging them to stick with the program even though it was hard at times.
What did we find?
At the beginning and end of the 6-week course, patients filled out questionnaires so that we could measure the impact of the course. And what we found was exciting. Within six weeks patients not only improved their walking, but many reported positive changes in their attention and memory as well. We even saw one patient whose speech started to get better too. What makes these results really remarkable is that all of the patients were in the chronic stage of their stroke, a point where many people give up hope of any improvement.
Bringing our program to you
Inspired by the results our patients experienced, we wanted to bring our courses to more people who could benefit from them. And that’s where the idea of a program that you can do at home came about. We are working on videos and an app that will make our real-life courses available to stroke patients in the comforts of their own homes. We research and test all of our programs for effectiveness before making them available to you. We’ll keep you updated as to when our materials are available. Then you can try them at home!