Next Step Program

Recovery Starts With That Next Step

Next Step Program

American Stroke Foundation

The Next Step Program is aimed at maintaining and improving health, wellness, and participation for individuals who have moved beyond their stroke and wish to take their next steps in life. Health professionals develop targeted activities within four primary areas: Communication, Health Behaviors, Life After Stroke, and Physical Fitness to address participants goals.


Communication difficulties are often encountered following a stroke. ASF provides opportunities for individuals to improve speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills while having a normal conversation.

Healthy Behaviors

Healthy habits lead to better results. Our Healthy Behaviors activities give you the tools to improve stress management, increase safety in home and community, dealing with change and encouraging healthy food choices.

Life After Stroke

A stroke may impact the way you think or move. Life After Stroke activities guides you through new methods for coping with daily activities. Plus, it can help encourage stroke survivors to be productive and active members of their community.

Physical Fitness

Staying active is a vital part of maintaining health after a stroke. Our Physical Fitness activities are a great way to improve your health and prevent future strokes. We customize exercises that target upper and lower body while improving balance and endurance in a safe environment.

Change Your Mind

It Starts With You

Healing begins with a decision. Once you make up your mind to move forward, you’re well on your way to maximizing your quality of life.

Next Step

Your Personal Goals

Because no two strokes are alike, your path to recovery is your own. Our programs are geared to move at your own pace to allow you to achieve your goals.

Next Step

Keep Pushing

There are times you feel like giving up. The journey ahead isn’t always easy. But it’s always worth it. We give you the tools to persist and improve your quality of life.

Join Us

Hope Starts Here

If you would like to learn more about our program, it all starts here. Just fill out this form and one of our representatives will be in touch quickly to guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.


Communication difficulties are often encountered following a stroke. Communication activities provide an opportunity for individuals to improve speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills while having a normal conversation.

Here are a few Communication activities offered at Next Step locations:


  • Creative Conversation: Speech therapists facilitate group conversations for individuals with difficulty understanding and producing speech.
  • Interesting Weekend Events: Participants talk about exciting events happening over the weekend. Peers share stories about trips and family visits as well as learn about other events that are happening in the community.
  • Book Club: Participants share thoughts about books. Typical readings are inspirational or centered on how to live following a stroke.
  • Reading Group: Individuals read inspirational quotes and song lyrics and discuss their meaning and application to life to facilitate reading comprehension and speed.


A key element of maintaining health is incorporating healthy habits into our lives. Through Health Behaviors activities individuals are provided with the skills and information about stress management, remaining safe at home and in the community, dealing with change, and incorporating healthy food choices.
Here are a few Health Behaviors activities offered at Next Step locations:  
  • Survivor Support: A retired minister addresses the spiritual needs of survivors to cope with changes following stroke.
  • Caregiver Support: Occupational therapy students provide information and resources to individuals who care for participants.
  • Nutrition Program: A dietitian educates about a healthy diet and provides information about how to shop and eat healthy.
  • Fall Prevention: Occupational therapy students help participants identify and remove trip hazards found at home, teach how to safely get up after a fall and how to problem solve daily challenges.


Following a stroke individuals may have difficulties thinking or using their arms and legs and must learn a new way to do daily activities. Life After Stroke activities focus on providing skills, strategies, and technology to deal with these changes. Additionally, this program supplies opportunities for individuals to be productive and active members of their community as they take their next steps in life.
Here are a few Life After Stroke activities offered at Next Step locations:
  • Meal Preparation Activities: Participants are responsible for their daily lunch set up and clean up. Discussion on selecting healthy food choices, recipes, grocery shopping, and adapted techniques for meal preparation occur in educational skills classes.
  • Giving Back: Participants provide special recognition in giving back to the community. Previous Giving Back activities include Adopt-a-Family during the holidays, special recognition day to local first responders, making toys for animal shelters, and special recognition to our ASF volunteers.
  • Community Re-Integration: Participants are encouraged to resume previous community and travel interests with family and friends. Support is provided in life skills classes and actual outings as workable for program sites.
  • How To: An opportunity for participants to learn a new skill, activity or hobby in a fun and exciting environment. Adapted techniques are taught to address any physical limitations. Recent activities include making origami, learning to use technology, and creating pottery.


Physical Fitness is important to maintaining health especially after a stroke. Physical Fitness activities give individuals the opportunity to increase physical fitness and prevent future strokes. Participants perform exercises that target the upper and lower body, improve balance, and improve endurance all within a monitored and safe environment.
Here are a few Physical Fitness activities offered at Next Step locations:
  • Fitness: Trainers create a tailored exercise program that focuses on cardiovascular health and incorporates an individual’s affected limb(s).
  • Let’s Get Moving: Occupational therapy students and staff lead group exercise that may include, stretching, balance, flexibility.
  • Aquatics: A facilitator focuses on cardiovascular endurance, strengthening, range of motion, and balance at select locations.