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Skiing following a stroke.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

My father in law suffered a stroke (bleed) nearly two years ago now. He has made a reasonable recovery but has lost some sight and suffers with dyspraxia.
The sight loss is his peripheral vision in one eye has gone completely. This affects his coordination and to a lesser extent, his balance. He was a keen golfer before the stroke and has been able to get a game in here and there with friends although hes aware that they are having to make allowances for him.
The dyspraxia means hes quite easily confused when making sense of his surroundings reading signs or a map is now impossible for him. He can at times struggle to hold on to lengthy verbal instructions too.
Hes in his early 70s but is fit and keeps up his exercises - both for body and mind but he has to relearn the words for everyday objects on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Hes said hed like to try skiing again but cant imagine ever having the confidence to.

The impaired vision and the dyspraxia are a frustrating combination in everyday life as it is so its understandable that hed feel defeated about skiing.
Are there people trained to help with his circumstances at all? Would it be possible for someone such as myself to get training in order to be able to help him enjoy the slopes again? I know he wouldn't want to pay for a holiday with the risk that he might not actually manage to ski so I need to find something for him in the uk to start with.
They live in York so are well placed for Castleford if we were able to get some kind of help/tuition for him there. I live in the north east but would be happy to accompany him especially if it meant I could learn how to be of more help to him on the slopes myself.
.
Having had a look though a couple of the posts in this section I've emailed DSUK and Ski2freedom but I would be grateful for any information, suggestions or indeed advice from others who've been in the same position.

Thanks for reading this
G


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 1-10-17 10:36; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm afraid that I can't offer any advice, but I really hope that you can sort something.

Would he be open to something like this?
http://youtube.com/v/llNokjOT5vk

I'm sure I've seen this at Hemel before. However it sounds as if he's still reasonably able so might feel a bit 'babied' by this.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks @SnoodlesMcFlude,
That's basically what he needs. He's a very sharp guy but the dyspraxia means things get muddled (As Eric Morecombe once put it .... I think you'll find I'm playing all the right notes. Just not necessarily in the right order!) so he'd need someone there at all times to aid his confidence.
The sit ski looks interesting. It would allow his muscles to remember the sensation without the worry of falling.
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@Graham Warren,
Quote:

Are there people trained to help with his circumstances at all? Would it be possible for someone such as myself to get training in order to be able to help him enjoy the slopes again?

Yes and yes.
If you want to try first in the UK then contacting DSUK was the right place to ask. They have adaptive instructors available at the indoor slopes in the UK.
If you get to the stage of wanting to try a ski holiday, I teach adaptive skiing in Zillertal, Austria. I've been teaching adaptive (and alpine) skiing for 18 years and so have lots of experience. Even if you don't want to come here, if you have questions please ask - I'm happy to help if it means that your father-in-law can ski again.

If you have a lesson in the UK (in fact, wherever you have a lesson) then your father-in-law should be asked what he wants from skiing. It may be that he just wants to feel the wind in his hair and to be able to get to the top of the mountain. If this is the case, then skiing in a sit ski may be the answer. If so, then you could be taught how to handle the sit ski yourself which means you, as a family, can ski independently.
On the other hand, if he wants to ski standing up then it's likely to be a lot of hard work, slow progress and he may spend all of his skiing time on the beginner slopes. How successful that is would depend on how strong and balanced he is.
I have taught people who combine the two types of skiing - work hard for half a day to ski standing up - because it is closer to what they used to do and in some ways feels more like "real" skiing*. Then in the afternoon, go for blast around in a biski and drink coffee in a restaurant with a view.
*Sometimes, especially, for people who skied before, there's a perception that skiing sitting down isn't real skiing. I try and compare it to the difference between skiing and snowboarding - it's all sliding on a mountain, just different - but for some people it's not enough.

I hope that helps. Like I said, if you have more questions, please ask.
Good luck!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks very much@SaraJ,
Yes I imagine it would be difficult for him at first and would mean nursery slopes for a while. With the reality being he may not progress from there. Which makes the sit ski look like a really good option. That said he's perfectly mobile and still strong enough as the stroke didn't affect him physically (other than he's quicker to tire out now) a big issue I think is the fear of falling.
He used to be pretty gung ho before but the stroke has really dented his confidence.
I don't see him wanting to do anything right away but I'll be passing this info on to him and the rest of the family and fingers crossed we'll have him back at it by next year. Looking at the price of lessons it seems reasonably enough priced to have a few fridge sessions to see how he feels about it all.
Thanks for the replies!
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I believe the Jubilee Sailing Trust is running a ski trip(s) this winter. It could be worth contacting them as the "disability" element of their trips is pretty much in the background. I have been on the Lord Nelson with them and they have fantastic empathy with those less able and bring out their strengths. Would imagine they'd do this on snow as well. Could be worth introducing your father in law to tall ships!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@jilly29, Ha ha, one thing at a time! I'll look them up though. I wonder if there's a golf/ski oriented disability group. That'd have him hooked!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A friend in our ski group suffered a serious bleed, rear base of skull, about six years ago. It nearly totalled him as he was asleep at night when his wife realised something serious was wrong. He, a medic, was attended by his own colleagues and friends during that emergency and has a very similar resulting set of restrictions much as you've described above, but with less effect on sight I think.

Returned to skiing about two years after the event, and skiing with friends and brother to help as required. Initially a gentle return for him but now seems to be back to a very good level. His first year back was to Flaine, no piste map really required as all in one bowl there with a simple lift right to top and gentle wide open blue all the way back to village level, so really simplified much of the decision making which could cause worry. Also never far to return to base as opposed to a longer piste journey. One of the big parts of getting out into something like this for him is how quickly tiredness builds and hence the focus on getting the activity going without having to find himself exhausted but still with a long return to do.

I think you're right in trying to focus on initial assessment of balance scope and subsequent projection of skiing ability, then if possible to make a trip with as many obstacles stripped out of the equation as possible.
As with your father in law, skiing is one of my friends great interests in life. It's something I think that can do wonders for the individual by not only going to enjoy what they love after such a serious health problem but also, and just as importantly, lets them see such a progress in themselves. It's a massively positive thing to do if achievable for your family and I've seen such a huge personal gain for someone likewise affected.
I think it's worth any effort you can give it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks@ski3,
I'm pleased to hear your friend's doing so well. There were some similar circumstances to Micko's stroke. Although his was in the day, he'd been feeling exceptionally tired. Seemingly out of the blue he suffered a massive bleed. Luckily Val, his wife, is a retired A&E staff nurse from Leeds general so was quick to act. Even so the odds weren't in his favour but happily for us he made it through.
He'd come to skiing quite late in life and only did the one trip per year but he'd spend the entire year doing leg exercises in preparation. He never had the urge to take on a black run but loved the cruisey blues.

It's very heartening to hear your friend's story. Even if Mick doesn't end up skiing again at least we know that there's the opportunity's to give it a good go.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@ski3, love stories like this.

So heart warming to know our big ski family can adapt, and how accessible we can make it for all.

DSUK rocks! Always in awe watching them at work.

No advice for the OP I'm afraid, only that I'm sure whatever you do it'll be worth it and the joys will clear to see Little Angel
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