Get Your Ribbon On: National Amputee Awareness Week
Wear a green ribbon in support of Australian amputees and people with limb loss this week, from October 4 – 11th.
Limbs 4 Life is a charity organisation dedicated to empowering amputees. Limbs 4 Life have been sending out green ribbons so people all around Australia can embrace National Amputee Awareness Week together.
According to Chief Executive Officer of Limbs 4 Life, Melissa Noonan, Australia has the second highest rate of diabetic related amputations in the developed world with 8000 lower limb amputations performed each year (Annual Report 2017)
“The aim of the week is to create awareness among the wider community, highlight the incidence of amputation in Australia, reduce the stigma sometimes experienced by people with limb loss and promote an inclusive community,” she says.
“To date we have shipped 10,000 green ribbons to people with limb loss nationally and the healthcare providers in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to care for them.” (Disability Support Guide)
There is hope that the national awareness week will open up new doors for amputees and draw people together into a wider community of inclusivity, acceptance, and growth.
Limb loss is an experience of overwhelming change. Amputees are immediately impacted by the loss of independence, functionality and mobility. Limbs 4 Life provides support and care to amputees, children with limb differences, and their families so that no one has to undergo the trauma of limb loss alone.
World ranked Australian Para-snowboarder Joany Badenhorst, speaks to the importance of amputee awareness: She says Amputee Awareness Week is “critical to new and veteran amputees…The community surrounding all amputees is the cornerstone of a happy and healthy life so for me, Amputee Awareness Week is an amazing opportunity for everyone to meet, find support systems and most importantly, reassure amputees that they are not alone and where there is a will, there is a way.”
Limbs 4 Life began in 2004 and has helped 1000s of amputees and careers in the steps leading up to and after limb loss. Limbs 4 Life provide:
- Peer support programs
- Amputee resources and wellbeing information
- Independent support helping you to navigate the health-care and disability systems
- Peer Support links individuals (and their families) pre or post amputation with trained amputees who have experience living with and adapting to limb loss. You’ll be matched with someone of a similar age, level of amputation, and gender.
- Trained amputee volunteers offer to share their knowledge and experiences in order to assist others in their transition and recovery.
- Peer support provides a space to talk about how you’re feeling, address concerns and issues, and aims to alleviate distress.
- Peer support is not only for those undergoing amputation but also for their families to gain the knowledge and understanding necessary to provide better love and care.
- Peer support also promotes social inclusion by providing the platform for community integration. Making one valuable friend often leads to more friendships in the making.
Resources and Information
- Chief Executive Officer of Limbs 4 Life, Melissa Noonan, believes it is imperative to provide the right information and stresses the importance of accessing the right prosthetic devices to promote functional outcomes and positive quality of life outcomes.
- The Limbs 4 Life website offers a range of fact sheets and guides. These cover a variety of topics including skin care, goal making, understanding healthcare systems, PSTD, and resuming recreation.
- Information about maintaining health is just as important as information about recovery. Mental health is a big part of this and is why it is so important to engender awareness, openness, and inclusivity around disabilities.
Navigating healh-care systems
- Limbs 4 Life offer detailed guidance on how to navigate health-care systems and how to fund your prosthesis.
- See ConnectAbility’s resources page and our blog posts Self-Managing Your NDIS Plan and What is the NDIS? for more information.
Find an Amputee Awareness Week event near you to discover the best services for you.
To get involved in National Amputee Awareness Week you can order a ribbon through Limbs 4 Life and share photos onto social media using the hashtags #GetYourRibbonON #NAAW18 and #amputee.