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Stroke Foundation support Seniors Week

Garden Village community set to learn life-saving signs of stroke

Garden Village is welcoming Stroke Foundation Volunteer Presenter Amy Jennings as part of Seniors Week 2024. Residents and the community are invited to attend the presentation to learn more about stroke prevention to support welbeing goals.  Craig Wearne CEO said “several residents have experienced strokes and recognising the signs is important.”

Every year, the Stroke Foundation surveys thousands of Australians on their knowledge of the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke. The F.A.S.T. acronym highlights the three most common signs of stroke (facial droop (F), inability to lift both arms (A) and slurred speech (S)). The T stands for time as a reminder that there is no time to waste, stroke is a medical emergency. Take action and call triple zero (000) at the first sign of stroke.

According to Stroke Foundation research “Only 62 per cent of Australians know at least one sign of stroke and awareness of one of the most common signs of stroke, facial droop, has dropped. With stroke impacting so many Australians, it is important to learn the signs because it could be you, a loved one’s or a colleague’s life you’re saving.”

The F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy and effective way to remember the signs of stroke. Just by knowing the signs and recognising a stroke, you could save a life. When a stroke occurs, it can damage up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute and, in Australia, a first-time stroke occurs every 19 minutes.

A move to The Banksia at Garden Village prompted by stroke 


Garden Village Resident Anne Kenny experienced a stroke in 2021. Anne explained that she did realise it was happening at the time which is probably because she had a nursing background.

On the day of the stroke she said “I had difficulty speaking and couldn’t get the words out so my family took me straight to hospital and I could tell them a few things but couldn’t finish the sentences. That day they started the tests, X-rays and scans.”

Anne was at Port Base Hospital for one week and praised everyone at the hospital. Since the first stroke Anne has had a couple of transient ischemic attacks (TIA’s) – a small stroke, like a little warning.

The stroke concerns prompted Anne to make the move to The Banksia and was also one of the reasons she gave up driving. She is very happy at The Banksia and pleased to have been on the waitlist and one of the first to move in. Her family had suggested a move to be closer to them four hours away but Anne preferred to stay in Port Macquarie close to friends and the convenience of the central CBD.

She knows the signs to look out for and whether it’s a TIA or a stroke and tries to keep active walking.

“I have no no regrets. I think it’s lovely at Garden Village,” said Anne who is looking forward to St Patrick’s Day Lunch at Waterfalls Cafe. She said she would recommend the Stroke Talk to friends.

Balance classes at Garden Village supporting stroke recovery

Another Resident at Garden Village experienced a stroke five months ago. She had the usual signs which were:

  • Slurred speech 
  • Limb weakness 
  • Difficulty understanding information 
  • Very blurred vision 

She said “I felt very ill but didn’t know what was wrong on that day in October.  Next thing I knew I was in an Ambulance to Port Base Hospital where I was in the stroke unit. I had an Embolic stroke 3 in total an MRI showed I had a succession of strokes.” 

“The stroke affected my right eye meaning I have to close that eye quite a lot. After the stroke and having my ears syringed I had a fall as my left leg gave way and I fractured my left foot. I am still dealing with that and walking with a walker.

“The support in Garden Village has been wonderful. I go to the Balance class as walking is still unsteady. I try to walk a lot and am feeling much better but things are still frustrating at times.” 

“I am looking forward to going to Cascades for Paddy’s Day and a day out on the village bus to the Glasshouse and Fish and Chips nearby.  I’ve also booked in with the Physio for help in the pool and I will be attending the Stroke talk to learn other people’s stories and tips. I am doing all I can to get better and love being at Garden Village.”

If you would like to learn more join us at Garden Village with the Stroke Foundation. It is free to register online or book at reception. 

› What stroke is and how to recognise the signs of stroke.

› What to do if someone is having a stroke.

› How to prevent stroke in you or the people you love.


About the Presenter Amy Jennings

Amy was 32 when she had a stroke in 2013, as a result of an Arteriovenous Malformation, which caused a haemorrhage.

The stroke resulted in Amy being completely paralysed on the right side and she lost her speech. Following a long and committed rehabilitation journey in both the public and private health systems, Amy was able to regain her mobility and independence, however, still suffers from a right side deficit and mild aphasia.

With the help of the NSW Stroke Recovery Association, Amy founded the Port Macquarie Stroke Club in 2018 and continues as President of the club. Amy has been a StrokeSafe Speaker for the Stroke Foundation on the Mid North Coast of NSW since 2020 and regularly provides support to the local health district to meet with recent stroke survivors.

Amy has participated in numerous neurological and stroke research projects and trials around the country related to aphasia, fatigue, stress and rehabilitation. Amy also supports universities in the tutoring of their speech pathology students to educate and provide feedback from a client perspective on speech pathology services.

For her services to the Stroke cause and Aphasia awareness, Amy was recognised in NSW Parliament in 2019. Amy has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing & Human Resource Management, has a Certificate 3 Allied Health Assistant and a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Located in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast, Garden Village is a leading Retirement Living, Aged Care, Disability and Home Care Service. As a registered not for profit we’ve provided care services to the community for over 40 years.

For more than 40 years, Garden Village has provided homes, care and support for ageing Australians on the land of the Birpai people. We pay our respects to all First Nations Ancestors, Elders and People in our community and throughout Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country, and their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community.

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