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Spa stroke survivor backs survey findings
12:50pm Friday 28th September 2012 in News
A STROKE survivor from Droitwich Spa has backed recent findings into the financial impact the condition causes people and their families.
Stroke is having a drastic negative impact on finances according to a new report published by Stroke Association.
It says those affected the most are working age stroke survivors who, unable to return to work, are coping with a fall in income, increased household bills and a benefits system that fails to fully understand the impact of stroke.
The survey, called Short-changed by Stroke, is based on the findings of over 2,200 people affected by stroke and in-depth interviews with stroke survivors on their experiences of applying for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and undergoing the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
Findings from the survey found that of those aged between 25-59 almost 65 per cent reported an increase in household bills and expenses. The same percentage reported a fall in their income.
More than a third cut back on food and the majority said they are worried about their financial future.
Trish Terry, 51, from Bromsgrove Road in Droitwich, had her stroke in August 2011 and is backing the findings.
She said: " Before my stroke I used to have my own wine merchant business, I have never been out of work and never not paid a bill. After my stroke I was very frightened and felt financially isolated. I went from running my own business, filing my own tax returns, to a benefit system that was so alien to me the paper work was completely overwhelming."
Jon Barrick, Stroke Association’s chief executive said: “Stroke is often thought of as an older person’s issue, yet about a quarter of strokes occur in people of working age. Our report shows the heavy financial impact of stroke on families who may face a dual loss of income at a time when financial commitments are likely to be at their most stretched.
Stroke Association is now calling on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to make sure the benefits system is fair and respects the dignity of stroke survivors and their families and that all assessors and DWP staff are trained to understand the impact of stroke.
To find out more about Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke campaign or to sign up to show support, visit stroke.org.uk/campaigns