City to host polio meet

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 05-Oct-2017

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Polio survivors will gather in Bendigo to address the importance of mental health, as part of Polio Day 2017.

The event on October 21 will be held in Bendigo for the first time in more than 10 years and will be hosted by Polio Network Victoria and supported by the City of Greater Bendigo.

The day will provide those from the polio community the opportunity to learn strategies to assist with maintaining good mental health.

While the focus today is on the eradication of polio, there are many thousands of Victorians, now in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older experiencing the late effects of polio or post-polio syndrome; a set of unexpected new symptoms occurring some between 15 to 40 years after the initial infection. 

Polio survivors are Australia’s largest physical disability group.

Between the 1930s and 1960s, about 70,000 Australians contracted polio with many severely paralysed. 

Most people recovered with varying levels of disability, going on to lead active lives.

Many polio survivors often experienced difficult and distressing periods in their life, initially with long hospital stays within rehabilitation facilities. 

The survivors felt isolation from both their families and the community due to fear associated with the disease.

Polio Network Victoria chair Bev Watson said the annual Polio Day event provides a vital forum for survivors of polio to come together meet other polio survivors and gain a better understanding of the importance of maintaining good mental health and a positive attitude to these life changes as they occur.

“While every polio survivor has had different experiences, good mental health and general wellbeing are vital in remaining active. We recognise that polio survivors are experiencing changes in their physical heath which in turn has a significant impact on mental wellbeing,” Ms Watson said.

“Polio Day will showcase the support available and provide important information to help polio survivors continue their life journey. It is also an opportunity for family, friends and carers of polio survivors to better understand the condition and effect on mental health.”

Polio Day will be held on Saturday, October 21 from 10am until 3pm at the Bendigo Town Hall. Tickets are $35 and include lunch. Bookings essential.

To register, visit www.trybooking.com/QCCA

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