Stroke Survivors Face “Invisible” Barriers When Returning To Work
Surviving a stroke can cause many types of impairments, some less easily identifiable than others. Cognitive impairment is one of the most prevalent long-term residual effects of a stroke, impairing two-thirds of all stroke survivors to some degree, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Queen Mary University of London recently looked at the impact of “invisible” stroke damage when survivors return to working. To study the situation, the team combed the message archives of the TalkStroke message board where stroke survivors and caregivers share information and support about life after a stroke.
In more than 20,000 posts, researchers identified 60 survivors who detailed their experiences with returning to work after a stroke. They found that cognitive impairment was among the most difficult situations to handle in the workplace, along with fatigue and emotional health.
Those who had supportive employers fared better than those whose employers failed to acknowledge their impairment. Some survivors reported ridicule from co-workers due to a lack of understanding that even though they did not have outward signs of surviving a stroke, internally they still had trouble.
Raising awareness about the internal barriers stroke victims may face when returning to their regular lives may help ease this stigma and get more survivors to return to work.
Stroke Survivors May Be Left Unable to Work
Some stroke survivors suffer from physical and mental impairments that render them unable to continue working. If a stroke left you severely disabled or you suffer from other stroke-related complications, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits.
Contact the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!