In the near future, the publish health initiatives will begin to focus more and more on the impact of stroke and the short-term and long-term health issues for cardiac patients. As the aging population rises, it is expected there will be a greater number of not only stroke patients but an increase in the number of patients requiring stroke rehabilitation – a factor that places a burden upon the healthcare system. Understanding this, it is expected public health initiatives will strive to reduce the incidence of stroke across all populations while also investing in scientific advances that will improve healthcare delivery.
To the economy, the rise in the population of stroke patients will pose a burden. From families to communities, the impact of stroke results financial implications and a decrease in healthcare resources that could be made available to other populations of patients. In an effort to reduce the incidence of stroke, public health programs should strive to push the reduction of smoking, reduce the incidence of diabetes, and reduce the number of patients who are experiencing high cholesterol. As an aging adult, if you live with any of these health complications, it is important to take personal responsibility for your own health and strive to reduce the risk for stroke personally.
Beyond prevention, the public health programs should also begin to focus on improving the management and treatment of stroke in the acute phase as this will ultimately reduce the number of patients who require stroke rehabilitation. In some communities, stroke rehabilitation units are becoming more commonplace and are especially important in communities where the aging population may be greater. Within the stroke rehabilitation units, stroke patients can be provided a level of care that is uniquely different than that offered in a standard emergency room or trauma center. Using a process known as ‘front loading’ stroke patients can expect a more expedient care and assessment process to reduce the need for stroke rehabilitation.
Even when stroke rehabilitation is required, healthcare programs are now focusing on ways in which to reduce the amount of time required for stroke rehabilitation by coordinating healthcare programs early in the stroke recovery process. In particular, teams of healthcare professionals are bridging together and commonly include healthcare specialties we may have once not considered as part of the stroke recovery team – psychiatrists, dieticians and even social workers.
As we progress into the next decade, many public health initiatives will focus on prevention with stroke and cardiac health leading the way. From prevention to acute treatment to coordination of healthcare teams, stroke incidences should decline and, ultimately, this alleviate some of the burden from our healthcare system.
Disability & Rehabilitation, 28, 893-895.
International Journal of Stroke, 2, 246-260.