Independent Living – Welcome to the Independent Living newsletter.

Hello Hannah
Welcome to the Independent Living newsletter.
14.06.17 Contents:
It’s Carers Week
Fall prevention
Brave, really?
B12 – what you need to know
Derek’s View – Stand assist beds
Latest – Come and Tri It; disabled MPs
1. It’s Carers Week


Once again, the annual cycle of awareness days and weeks has turned to carers.

People who save the NHS and social services billions of pounds a year are fleetingly under the spotlight, with universal agreement that more should be done to make their lives easier.

But how? A new carers’ strategy was due to be published this month, though the government appears to have the more pressing matter of its own survival in mind at the moment.

Carers’ charities are calling (quietly) for the needs of older carers to be recognised, and for the building of “carer friendly communities”.

What do you think? How can society change to support carers better? You can read more and add your comments here.



Back to Top
2. Fall prevention


I am revisiting the topic of fall prevention, following the recent publication of a study in the Netherlands, about increased risk of falling if you take certain beta-blockers.

Many older people are prescribed these drugs for managing high blood pressure or various heart conditions, such as angina, and they do a very useful job.

At the same time, it is a reminder that many factors – including prescription medicines – can make a person more likely to fall. As you get older and more fragile, the consequences are likely to be worse.

We have an area of Independent Living dedicated to fall prevention, where you can see more about the various steps you can take to avoid falls, and what to do if you or someone you care for has a fall.

Fall prevention is here


Back to Top
3. Brave, really?


Most people with a visible disability have probably experienced being called “brave”. It is meant as a compliment, but often not received as such.

We get on with what life dishes out to us, generally speaking, and I doubt that many of us really consider that the mere fact of waking up each morning and going about our daily business is cause for admiration. This is true for people with impairments, as much as anyone else.

So I thought, until I came across a list of things which apparently count as brave nowadays. As it includes posting a selfie you haven’t digitally enhanced, and crossing the road when the little man is red, it looks like we may actually all be superheroes!

Please follow this link to read more and share your thoughts on bravery…



Back to Top
4. B12 – what you need to know


I thought I was quite clued-up on diet and health – particularly the basic facts about essential vitamins and minerals.

So I was surprised to learn recently that loss of appetite is one symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Despite his svelte figure, my other half always had a hearty appetite – until gradually, he didn’t. He has morphed into a picky eater, consuming very little.

I’m hoping that this week’s B12 injection will improve things!

Read more about the vitamin B12 here


Back to Top
5. Derek’s View – Stand assist beds


Alpine HC has a new range of highly functional stand assist beds.

As well as the classic rotating chair beds, which swivel from lying down to a side-on sitting position, they also have a front exit bed, which allows the user to transfer from the foot of the bed rather than the side.

Another interesting development is a rotating bed insert, which can be retrofitted to an existing single or double bed.

You can see more details here


If you provide high quality products and services, and you would like to reach our site visitors and newsletter readers, please email



Back to Top
6. Latest – Come and Tri It; disabled MPs


On Monday, there was a taster event for the Superhero Series – the only mass-participation sports series dedicated to the UK’s 12 million people with disabilities, as well as their friends and families.

Essentially, it is a triathlon that offers various different ways to take part, either alone, with a sidekick or as part of a team.

The first full event takes place on 19th August at Dorney Lake, Windsor.

You can read more here


When the General Election was announced, I asked all the main political parties how many disabled candidates they had. Only one bothered to reply – the Lib Dems, who were fielding 12%.

Now that the results are in, I still have no idea how many stood, but I do know that there are five self-declared disabled MPs – three more than last time. Still less than 1%, though, which you may not think is properly representative.

You can read more here


And that is it for this week! Don’t forget that you can apply to join the Independent Living Facebook group, if you would like to spend more time discussing these themes with other interested people. If you haven’t yet had enough of political debate, we also set up a separate group for this purpose, which is here.


There are various ways you can get in touch with us: email me; visit our Facebook page and leave a message there; or if it’s short and sweet, Tweet!

Previous newsletters are archived here.

If you are reading a copy of the Independent Living newsletter that has been passed on to you by a colleague or friend, why not sign up for your own free subscription – it’s quick and easy, and won’t lead to your inbox being bombarded with other stuff!


Back to Top


Until next time, all good wishes,



Share on:
Frances Leckie

e: editor @
t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
Skype: francesleckie

Print Friendly