Long Covid is a very real phenomenon, with one in five Covid patients having symptoms that last longer than five weeks.
The Government has created dedicated Long Covid clinics in the community to help people get back on their feet after being struck with the virus.
All this is very admirable. However, the symptoms of Long Covid are remarkably similar to what stroke survivors struggle with every single day.
Since Covid, my fellow survivors have reported a huge decline in their muscle strength and tone, balance, independence and mental health. And their fatigue levels have rocketed with their pain.
Community help for these survivors is often woeful or non-existent and subject to a postcode lottery. That stinks.
To add to our rehabilitation failings, I heard young stroke survivor, Amy Callaghan MP, highlight our neglected subgroup in Parliament. She said:
“Too many people like Stacey [her constituent] have survived catastrophic life events only to be let down by this Government’s woeful welfare system, unable to work and unable to pay for basic necessities many of us take for granted.”
So when young stroke survivors’ lives are destroyed, jobs, careers and relationships ended, with very few opportunities to secure paid employment – other than only voluntary work – how on earth do we pay for basic necessities, let alone fund the vital rehabilitation we need at home?
I think pre-Covid most people – and our politicians – actually took their health for granted.
But over these past two years, many people now have realised the real meaning of life and have stopped going to the office, turned their backs on the rat race, quit their jobs and instead started chasing happy, stress-free memories with people they care about.
So has Long Covid really taught the decision makers something here?
Have our leaders finally realised the true value of rehabilitation because of Covid so we can all to stay well and happy?
Has the penny finally dropped that if we are all to live our best lives – physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically with dignity – after a life changing event, we need to access to timely community rehabilitation?
I must admit the cynic in me thinks that the huge cash injection for Long Covid rehabilitation wasn’t driven by a leadership mindset shift.
Instead, I tend to think that Boris himself requires rehabilitating after Covid or perhaps the Government is chasing votes after all their social gatherings.
But whatever their motivation for this new rehab mindset, it’s a shame that, yet again, stroke survivors are being left behind.
Please reach out with any comments and ideas on Twitter @kateallatt
– Dr Kate Allatt
GripAble Ambassador, Inspirational Health Speaker and Internationally Published Author
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