Jane is a polio survivor living in Coburg, Victoria.
Sometime between 1954/55, Jane contracted polio at just 11 months old whilst living in Melbourne, Victoria. As a result of the virus, Jane experienced paralysis entirely to her right arm and leg, and partially to her left arm and leg. This paralysis has remained throughout her lifetime.
Jane speaks favourably of her younger years; with strong support from her family and acceptance from her peers. Her adolescence, however, was traumatic as she faced societal rejection based on her disability. Jane struggled as she tried to enter the workforce, experiencing difficulty finding a job which was accepting of her and could accommodate her ability. As a result, Jane found part-time work was achievable, although she experienced financial hardship as a result.
At 64 years of age, Jane is now living with the Late Effects of Polio (LEoP). Everyday tasks and activities are becoming increasingly difficult, even with her full leg brace and use of a scooter. Jane is now looking towards her future and increasing needs. As a ‘younger’ polio survivor, Jane is eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) (the cut-off is 65 years) and is commencing her application in the hope of obtaining a motorised wheelchair. For Jane, being able to acquire the appropriate aids and equipment is vital to ageing with dignity and she knows this would not be financially possible without the NDIS.
Jane is fighting an uphill battle to remain independent and being able to stay in her home. She fears the future possibility of moving into a nursing home. She strongly believes her ability to age with dignity is reliant on access to and the quality of appropriate support services. Despite her best efforts, Jane’s capacity to participate in recreational activities, upkeep family and community interactions, and to remain in the workforce is an ongoing challenge. Jane is desperate for the support to maintain these activities.