Independent Living – Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.

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Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.
07.03.18 Contents:
What’s up with your bladder?
Independent review of DFGs
Support to tackle the gender pay gap
Little confidence in going out
Derek’s View – A loo that changes with you
Latest Updates – Companion Gold; PHB survey open
1. What’s up with your bladder?

I know what an important subject incontinence is, if only because of the number of people reading anything I write on the subject.

I’m willing to bet that more of you will click on this story than any other of this week’s snippets…

A book written for everyone, then, on this widespread problem, and why nobody should suffer in silence.

Mary Farmer reviews What’s up with Your Bladder? in her own inimitable style.

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2. Independent review of DFGs

Disabled Facilities Grants pay for essential adaptations that enable people to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.

They work well: people who have had grant-funded adaptations and subsequently move into care, do so some four years later than those who have not had adaptations carried out.

But they could do better. Provision is uneven, and demand always outstrips supply. Now, the Department of Health and Social Care has commissioned an independent review…

Find out more here

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3. Support to tackle the gender pay gap

This time last year, I was reprimanded for failing to acknowledge International Women’s Day, which is tomorrow, 8th March, as always.

So I’m quite relieved to have a story to share about the launch of a £1.5 million fund to help people – overwhelmingly women – back into employment after taking a break to provide care; one of the factors recognised as contributing to the stubbornly persistent gender pay gap.

There is guidance for businesses on how to improve opportunities for returners, as well as support for training and updating skills.

See more details here

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4. Little confidence in going out

Euan’s Guide and Disabled Access Day have carried out a survey which shows more than nine out of 10 disabled people don’t feel confident about visiting somewhere new, in case of access problems.

Venue layouts, lack of ramps, lack of accessible toilets – these are some of the factors that make an excursion difficult or impossible. Not surprisingly, all but 5% of those surveyed said that they research new places ahead of visiting them.

Find out more here.

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5. Derek’s View – A loo that changes with you

Site subscriber Closomat has been providing independence in the toilet for 55 years, and they have developed such a range of products and accessories that there are 130,000 permutations  for their Palma Vita automatic wash and dry toilet.

We all go to the loo an average of eight times a day, and our access needs will change with time. A loo that can change with you makes a big difference.

Find out more here

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

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6. Latest – Companion Gold; PHB survey open

Leeds-based stairlift company Companion has won the Feefo Gold Service award, given to businesses for delivering exceptional service, as rated by real customers.

Fighting back against the problem of fake reviews, Feefo verifies that all feedback links up with a genuine transaction.

Read more here

personal health budgets surveyI wrote a couple of weeks ago about NHS England’s survey of Personal Health Budget holders.

It is now open for you to complete online, if you have direct experience as a holder or carer.

Details here.

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.

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!

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Until next time, all good wishes,


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Frances Leckie

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Skype: francesleckie

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