Age With Dignity: 400,000 Reasons To Attend Polio Australia's Free Post-Polio Workshops

The 12th of April, 2018 will mark the 63rd anniversary of the life changing Polio vaccine, first created by Jonas Salk on April 12, 1955. Known as one of the most prevalent public health problems in the world, Salk extended his polio research into finding a vaccine, and seven devoted years later the most elaborate vaccine trial in history was a success.

Whilst the global impact of this historic medical breakthrough stopped polio epidemics in their tracks, many people who overcame the disease are increasingly seeking answers from health professionals relating to new symptoms they are experiencing.

To help clinicians recognise and manage these symptoms, Polio Australia, with funding from the federal government, will be delivering a series of Clinical Practice Workshops facilitated by Clinical Health Educator, Paul Cavendish.

To complement the workshops for health professionals, Polio SA will also be hosting a free information session to polio survivors, presented by Cavendish, on the Late Effects of Polio, a condition that can occur often decades after overcoming the disease.

Years after the poliomyelitis epidemics in Australia, the aftermath of the disease is now becoming evident in our ageing ‘polio population’. There are an estimated 400,000 people who may be experiencing the Late Effects of Polio (LEoP) or Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS), often up to 50 years after the initial infection.

Polio Australia is providing free Clinical Practice Workshops for health professionals to identify common symptoms of LEoP and PPS and develop their understanding of the ongoing consequences across our ageing population.

Polio SA is inviting all individuals and families who have been impacted by polio, to attend Mr Cavendish’s FREE information sessions.

The FREE information session for polio survivors, on Saturday the 12th of May, will cover:

  • The latest research regarding managing the Late Effects of Polio
  • Education on what makes the Late Effects of Polio different from the ageing process
  • Key information on how to work with your health professional
  • Proven self-management strategies to help maintain function and independence
  • An opportunity to ask questions and discuss your post-polio health

Featuring the latest research involving how to best manage the Late Effects of Polio, Cavendish is aiming to connect with and equip the polio community within Adelaide through his free information sessions.

“I am keen to share the findings of the work that I have been a part of since 2005 working in allied health and multidisciplinary clinics. The collective research that we will be presenting at the various workshops across Adelaide, aims to unpack the Late Effects of Polio and teach health practitioners how they can assist a polio survivor to maintain function and independence.”

“With Australia’s vast post-polio community, I believe it’s of the utmost importance to discuss what makes the late effects of polio different from the typical ageing process, and work with health professionals to ensure this is correctly managed. I think it is important as a professional community we do not expect or rely on Polio survivors to research and find out what to do for their condition due to the limited support and understanding they have received for many years. While I am delivering these workshops to health professionals, I will also be providing an overview to polio survivors and their families at Tee Tree Gully, Adelaide on the 12th of May on key information they can take away with them on working with their health professionals and self-managing their condition.”


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