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Community Supports Concern Stroke Foundation

Community Supports Concern Stroke Foundation

The death of a woman in a house fire in Porirua during the weekend highlights the difficulties faced by survivors of strokes, according to the Stroke Foundation. "Yvonne Moore's death highlights the paucity of services for survivors of stroke," says Foundation CEO Mark Vivian. "I am appalled at the level of supports available to many with ongoing disabilities resulting from strokes."

"In the Central Region, the only financial help we get from the DHB's is a total of $40,700 per year for information services." The Foundation's contract with the DHB excludes the provision of support services and they must fundraise for this aspect of their work with the stroke affected community.

"It is a very real concern that most of our new clients are referred to us by hospital services, but we receive very little funding to provide the services we do'" says Mr Vivian. "In our Central region, this last year our field officer service received from the DHB's $5.56 per Field Officer hour worked. We received no assistance with associated costs of the service, for example the 33,000 kilometres staff travelled to provide the home based services."

Current health sector statistics suggest there are 56,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand. Strokes are the highest cause of ongoing disability in New Zealand. "I don't think people realise the effects and impacts of stroke," says Mr Vivian. "For many survivors there are ongoing challenges managing self-cares, accessibility and mobility difficulties, and often mental health difficulties. Many of our members are extremely reliant on family and unpaid carers, and this puts an enormous strain on relationships and carers own health and supports. There is simply not the commitment from the health sector to provide the necessary paid supports post-hospital."

This week Foundation members and volunteers will stand on street corners for a street appeal in order to raise money to provide support services. "We provide a service that would not otherwise be available, for vulnerable people living in their own homes, whose everyday needs so often are ignored," says Mr Vivian. "I certainly hope the public support us with their donations."


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