A stroke is a largely preventable condition where the risks can be significantly reduced by making lifestyle changes.
The most common kind of stroke occurs when blood clots block the flow of blood to the brain.
This typically occurs when the arteries have been narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits known as plaques. Age, family history, ethnicity and our medical history are all things that can affect arterial narrowing, but certain factors also cause this process which can be prevented; smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol consumption and poorly controlled diabetes.
What can you do to improve your care?
The most effective way to prevent a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and take regular exercise.
A poor diet can increase your chances of having a stroke. It is recommended to reduce your chance of having a stroke to eat a diet low in fat, high in fibre, containing five or more portions of fruit and vegetables, contains wholegrain and less than 6g of salt a day.
Smoking narrows your arteries and makes your blood more likely to clot. Stopping smoking can reduce your risk of stroke by half. A stop smoking service runs in Bracknell Forest and is free to access for anyone who smokes – see contact details at the bottom of the page.
The combination of a healthy diet with exercise can lead to being a healthy weight, having a healthy level of cholesterol and having a healthy blood pressure.
What if you’ve already had a stroke?
If you have had a stroke, support and aftercare is available from East Berkshire community stroke support. The service offers emotional support, information and practical advice following a stroke.
The Bracknell Friday stroke club provides peer support and social and recreational activities for those who have had a stroke. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month between 10am and 12pm.
The Crowthorne stroke club runs from 10am to 12noon on the fourth Thursday of every month except August and December.
The Sandhurst stroke club runs from 10am to 12noon on the first and third Thursday of every month.
Bracknell Aphasia Self Help (B.A.S.H) provides communication support for people with aphasia and other communication disabilities caused by stroke, by helping members make friends and regain confidence. The group meets every Friday (during term time) between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
Contact details for local services
- Fit for Life (Over 50s recreation Sessions) – Bracknell Leisure Centre, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 9SE | Tel: 01344 454203 | Sessions available for over 50s: Yoga, Swimming, Zumba, Dance, Badminton, Short Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Table Tennis, Keep Fit, Short Mat Bowls and Splash Fit.
- Bracknell Forest Stop Smoking Support – Various local and online support groups (see health.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/stop-smoking for more information). Tel: 01344 355218 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- East Berkshire Community Stroke Support | Tel: Gill Hall on 01344 306177 | Email: email@example.com
- Bracknell Friday stroke club – Dennis Pilcher House, Rowley Close, Bracknell RG12 9TP | Telephone: Freda Cookall on 01344 442717 or Eileen Wood on 01344 422504
- Crowthorne stroke club – Morgan Centre, Wellington Road, Crowthorne RG45 7LD | Telephone: Claire Lewis on 01256 279204 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sandhurst stroke club – St. Michael’s Pastoral Centre, Lower Church Road, Sandhurst, Berkshire, GU47 8HN | Telephone: Pam Owles on 01344 775698 | Email: email@example.com
- Bracknell Aphasia Self Help (B.A.S.H) – Brakenhale Open Learning Centre, Rectory Lane, Bracknell RG12 7GR | Tel: Judy George on 01189 787074 or Sue Cooper on 01344 485028 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com