There are approximately one million individuals in the U. S. who survived the great polio epidemics of the 1940s and 50s. While most polio survivors recovered a high degree of function, a great number were left with permanent, severe paralysis. The Polio Survivors Association was formed in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to promote the well being and improve the quality of life for these severely disabled polio survivors.
The Polio Survivors Association concentrates its efforts in these main areas:
To ensure that respirator dependent polio survivors living in Los Angeles County can remain safely in their own homes, we obtain and maintain electric generators for those individuals who would be jeopardized by an interruption of electrical service. We work with local and State agencies to obtain funding for adaptive equipment, assistive devices, and home care expenses.
We provide educational material to polio survivors throughout the United States and Canada who are beginning to experience the late effects of poliomyelitis; often referred to as “post-polio syndrome” or PPS. This can include renewed muscle weakness, fatigue, and pain. The best medical evidence we have indicates that prolonged overcompensation by polio survivors for their damaged neuromusculature is responsible for this renewal of disability. We work closely with physicians and local polio support groups.
We work with other organizations and agencies to promote public policies that encourage home care for people with disabilities. Polio survivors were the first large group to attempt home-based, long-term care despite very severe disability, often including respirator dependence. We know that this can be both safe and cost effective.
The Polio Survivors Association is dedicated to education, advocacy, and support. We are not a membership organization, but encourage polio survivors to join support groups in their area. Many people do not remember the great polio epidemics of the 1940s and 50s. The Polio Survivors Association was formed to help those who can never forget.