31 / 12 / 2014
Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That's one person every five minutes. Most people affected are over 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies.
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off and brain cells are damaged or die. This can happen either because of a blood clot or bleed in the brain.
The most common effects of a stroke are physical ones such as weakness and paralysis, spascity, problems with walking and changes in sensation. However, as stroke damage can occur anywhere in the brain, a person can often be affected in other ways as well such as in communicating or emotionally.
The above information is used courtesy of www.stroke.org.uk.
A person who has had a stroke can ski and enjoy the mountains with family and friends but how and where will depend on the overall health and medical condition – for many people who were skiers it can be all about regaining self-confidence again and perhaps in some case coming to terms with using a sit-ski rather than normal skis and for some this can bring about a lack of confidence BUT if this is the course open then once tried never look back the world again on the mountain is yours!
Ski 2 Freedom has clients who have discovered the joys of the snow and magic of the mountains. Most ski schools which have qualified instructors for disabled and adaptive skiing and snow sports should be able to work with children and adults who have mobility issues and conditions relating to having had a stroke.
Confidence on the snow is the key issue and it is well worth investing in the excellent private tuition that is on offer by the ski schools. Once the person has gained the basic skills then there is no reason why the family cannot all ski together- it is also a good idea to return to the same ski resort for a couple of winters just to maintain that special relationship and new found confidence.
Ski 2 Freedom is here to help with any enquiries you may have, especially on which ski school and resort would best suit your specific needs and requirements ensuring that all the family or friends needs are included as well.
Giving us or a ski school as much background information as possible is very important. If you have skied before, it can be incredibly useful to dig out old photographs or even video footage of them skiing previously to send to the ski school so that they can get a good idea of their level. Discussing in detail the skier’s specific needs and condition(s) is VITAL to ensure both the ski school and you know what is going to happen and to ensure you are matched with the right ski instructor and/or equipment. This may include a discussion about other associated health and social needs such as epilepsy, asthma, communication and social awareness skills and any recent medical developments. This is especially important after having a stroke as the effects of this can be so variable.
It’s also worth noting that for most of us, needing to go to the loo on the mountain can sometimes be problematic; if you feel this is an issue for you or the skier in question, please don’t feel worried about mentioning this to your instructor before you set off- it’s much better to be prepared and near to an accessible loo(the nearest loo on the ski slope may not be the most accessible-as we all know most are downstairs!) than have to face a ‘behind the tree’ situation, which for an able-bodied person is hard enough!
We will be delighted to discuss ski schools and ski resorts with you and send you all the relevant information. Please contact us.
Please give us as much information as you can and a contact telephone number.
Many of the ski schools have a good idea of what is required especially when it comes to equipment and clothing, in particular the ski boots. Do ensure that you ask the ski school if they can recommend a ski hire shop for such items. If the skier has physical impairments after the stroke such as weakness or problems weight bearing etc. then special ski equipment may be required but this will depend on the degree of the disability. The specialist ski instructor working with the skier will be able to assess this.
If you have any information that you can share with us please do let us know.
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