Stroke is common, with an incidence of about 2-2.5 per 1000 per year and a prevalence of 6 per 1000 in the UK (Wade, 1992). The incidence appears to be declining, and yet it remains one of the most common causes of acute medical admission to hospital. This could be attributed to the combined effects of increased incidence of stroke with advancing age and increasing proportions of older people in the population. Approximately 20 per cent of the UK population is over the age of 65, which represents almost 11 million people. As nearly 80 per cent of strokes occur in those over the age of 65, it has been estimated that the numbers of new strokes per year will increase by 30 per cent in the forty years from 1983 to 2023 (Malmgren et al., 1989).