As part of our campaign to better understand the effect of the illness on older people, the charity is keen to hear from anyone in this age group who had meningitis after they turned 65. They also want to hear from the children or even grandchildren of people in this age group if they can tell their stories for them.
It is all part of our strategy to try and reach as many people in the country as possible who have had the devastating disease and offer ongoing support. While most people usually associate meningitis with babies and students, older adults are also vulnerable.
According to Meningitis Now CEO Dr Tom Nutt, many people in this age group don’t realise they are at risk from the disease.
“When you have a baby you are told about meningitis and what to look out for, all the signs and symptoms,” he said.
“And then you get the same message when your children leave home for university or college when again they are in an at-risk group.
“But the third group that are more vulnerable to meningitis often don’t even know they are at risk and that’s older adults.
“We realise that people in this age group are already having to deal with an increasing risk of different illnesses so we are just one of many – which makes it hard to get the message out.
“But meningitis can hit so fast and be so devastating we really believe it is worth older people, as well as their relatives and carers, being aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and seeking urgent medical advice if concerned.”
Offer our support
As well as wanting older people to be aware about how the disease might affect them, Dr Nutt said Meningitis Now was keen to understand how the charity could best support them.
“We are looking for ways to reach more people who are affected by the disease so that we can offer them our support,” he said.
“As well as talking to them about the after-effects of meningitis we have lots of ways we can help them including with funds for things like therapies and specialist equipment.
“So, if you or anyone you know is in this age group and have had meningitis please get in touch and tell us your story – we would love to hear from you and we would also love to offer you our support”.
To help improve Meningitis Now’s support to older people please share your story here.