Waitematā DHB Volunteer Stroke Scheme - Regional Service
About the Service
Volunteer Stroke Scheme (VSS), is an Auckland-wide service that supports people in using, maintaining and enhancing their communication after a stroke.
The service provides volunteers who are trained as “conversation partners” and who use Total Communication Strategies to give people opportunities to participate in effective communication and social interaction.
This interaction takes place in a one-to-one or conversation group setting.
People referred remain under the oversight of a speech language therapist for the duration of their time with the Volunteer Stroke Scheme.
How a stroke can affect communication
A stroke can affect communication in one or more of the following ways:
- Weakened muscles make speech sound slurred/ indistinct.
- Difficulty recalling words or knowing how to say them
- Using the wrong (or made up) words
- Misunderstanding the meaning of words - this may come across as difficulty hearing
- Spontaneously repeating the same words or phrases
- Difficulty reading; understanding words and/or reading words aloud
- Difficulty spelling words
- Difficulty understanding or saying numbers e.g. dates, time, money.
These communication difficulties can result in frustration, embarrassment and a sense of isolation. Eventually this can lead to withdrawal from social interaction. Trained volunteers will provide the client with a supportive and positive environment for communication.
Referral to the Volunteer Stroke Scheme (VSS)
People must first be assessed and then referred to the VSS by a district health board speech language therapist in their area.
People can refer themselves to the community speech language therapist or with the person’s permission: family/whanau, GPs, hospital staff, specialists, Stroke Foundation community advisors and other health professionals can refer to the community speech language therapist.
Entry Criteria for VSS
People eligible to receive services from the VSS are those who have communication difficulties as a result of a stroke.
Any other issues will be considered on a case by case basis.
Clients excluded from VSS services
There are some eligibility exclusions. Please contact your speech language therapist.
Being a Volunteer
What our Volunteers do
A volunteer visits a person in their home once a week for an hour. The aim is to provide an opportunity to use every day communication and conversation skills.… More
Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?
Please call us - (09) 441 8959 to enquire about being a volunteer!… More
- Volunteer Stroke Scheme Brochure (PDF, 340.5 KB)
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This page was last updated at 1:20PM on November 7, 2019. This information is reviewed and edited by Waitematā DHB Volunteer Stroke Scheme - Regional Service.