Book Review: The Successful Stroke Survivor: The New Guide to Functional Recovery from Stroke

Feb 10, 2012 by

Book Review: The Successful Stroke Survivor: The New Guide to Functional Recovery from Stroke by Tom Balchin, published by Bagwyn, Great Britain (

Tom Balchin has written an exceptionally well organized book for those individuals who may have suffered what is medically termed a “stroke“. In his book, he first of all defines a stroke, educating the general public as to the subtle nuances of this condition. He provides terms and terminology in understandable parlance so that those caretakers working with survivors can understand some of the terminology (hemionopia, dysphagia, dysarthria). Tom discusses the “ global situation facing survivors”and discusses what are the “three big problems for stroke survivors” . I personally have heard the same three “ big problems “ from those who have suffered an o pen or closed head injury or trauma- their treatment finished way too quickly, they do not have an autonomous program to pursue independently and resources in terms of a support group are few and far between.

The book tries to answer all of those unanswerable questions regarding one’s rehabilitation. These questions often call for expert knowledge from a medical professional, who sadly cannot always provide ALL of the answers with 100 percent certainty.

The book then attempts to provide all of the “training essentials” with excellent pictures, charts, graphs and ancillaries in an extremely well organized format. One specific chapter also deals with the importance of record keeping, so as to monitor one’s return to function.

Exercises for upper body as well as lower body are specified . There are relevant icons and pictures to assist those who are more visually oriented.

Unlike some books that you need a magnifying glass to read, pictures are large, clear, sequential and encompass an entire page in places.

It is apparent that a good deal of work went into this text, with the survivor and their caretaker in mind. Further, the book attempts to support the efforts of those attempting to recover as well as those involved in primary care.

I should add that Tom Balchin, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of The ARNI Trust (Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury), a charity which concentrates on helping stroke survivors by matching them up with its specialist instructors. Since 2001, his charity has directly helped many thousands of people world-wide achieve significant improvements in their lives and mobility. He is to be commended for his work in this regard and this book is a truly comprehensive aid to those who may have suffered a stroke and are sincerely interested in recovery and rehabilitation.

If you have had a stroke and are recovering, you need this book. If you are caring for someone who has had a stroke and is struggling in their recover, this book will help. If you are a professional in the field, it is imperative that you have this book for your professional library.

Dr Tom Balchin
Registered Charity No. 1116130
PO Box 68, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6QQ.
Phone: 07712 211378

This books is a superlative guide and resource for those in the field of rehabilitation as well as for those families and friends of those who have had a stroke or are recovering from one.

Reviewed by Michael F. Shaughnessy

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