Living with polio

Between the 1930's and 1960’s approximately 70,000* Australians were paralysed by polio. Most people recovered with varying levels of disability, going on to lead active lives.  

Today thousands of people now aged in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and older are experiencing what we call Post Polio Syndrome or Late Effects Polio, which are a set of unexpected new symptoms occurring some 15 to 40 years after the initial infection.

Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for post polio syndrome, but symptoms may be controlled or improved if you:

  • avoid physical overexertion or stress
  • keep comfortably warm and avoid exposure to cold temperatures
  • modify daily activities to conserve energy e.g.sit rather than stand at a workbench
  • use callipers, braces, walking sticks and electric scooters
  • ensure all exercise is pain free and non-fatiguing

Support Groups

Fifteen polio support groups are spread across metro and regional Victoria. Groups are established and run by local members. Their mode of operation will vary according to each group's needs but they aim to:

  • offer mutual support to people who've had polio, their families and carers
  • provide an opportunity for people who've had polio to meet socially to exchange information and share ideas
  • identify and lobby local agencies and organisations on the needs and rights of people with disabilities
  • promote and support the goals and activities of Polio Network Victoria

Polio Support Groups

  • Ballarat Post Polio Support Group Inc > meet bi-monthly on a Wednesday
  • Bairnsdale Post polio Support Group
  • Bayside Polio Support Group (Hampton) > meet first Tuesday of every month
  • Bendigo Post Polio Support Group > meet bi-monthly on a Saturday
  • Eastern Polio Support Group > meet third Saturday of every month
  • Echuca Post Polio Support Group
  • Geelong Polio Support Group > meet first Monday of every month
  • Hume Polio Self-Help Group > meet second Saturday of every month
  • Knox-Yarra Ranges Posp Polio Support Group > meet bi-monthly on a Saturday
  • Mornington Peninsula Post Polio Support Group > meet second Saturday of every month
  • Northern Region Post Polio Support Group (Coburg) > meet first Saturday of every month
  • Shepparton Post Polio Supoprt Group
  • South Eastern Region Polio Support Group > meet second Saturday of every month
  • Traralgon Post Polio Support Group > meet bi-monthly on a Thursday
  • Warrnambool Polio Support Group Inc > meet on fourth Tuesday of every month

* Jones, R (1991) Post polio syndrome: what can we do. The Medical Journal of Australia, 155

 

Share