Boost your community presence this Stroke Awareness Month

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 133,000 people in 2014. In all, about 800,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States each year, and about 7 million Americans over age 20 have had a stroke at some point in their lives, according to the American Heart Association.

May is Stroke Awareness Month and it’s an ideal time to raise awareness about stroke prevention and treatment while raising awareness of your stroke-specific medical services.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Create a flyer to inform about stroke and how your agency can help those who have had a stroke. Hand them out at health fairs and anywhere that seniors gather. Be sure to stock the offices of referral sources with these flyers, too.
  • Get a great Explaining Stroke 101 PowerPoint presentation for free from the National Stroke Association. Deliver the presentation at assisted and independent living centers in your area.
  • Visit the Stroke Awareness Resource Center for tons of promotional tools you can use to raise your agency’s profile this month while raising awareness about strokes. Tools include email tips, flyers, infographics, fact sheets and press releases. Find a great Stroke Awareness Toolkit at the website of the American Heart Association.
  • Offer to sponsor a class on Chronic Disease Management with a local stroke support group. TAG Partners has a great ready-made community education class that a non-clinician can present.
  • Contact a church in your community that serves a primarily African American or Latino population — both groups with a higher risk for stroke. Offer to have a discussion group about stroke facts and risks. Learn more about strokes and minorities here. Lots of free stroke-related materials in both English and Spanish are available at the website of the American Stroke Association.
  • Download the Act FAST Wallet Card and distribute it with informative brochures for your agency. The card details the warning signs of a stroke.