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Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.
25.07.18 Contents:
Only five healthy years…
Disability confident?
National Parks Week!
Dealing with social care complaints
Research on DFGs
Latest – CPAD; vote for accessible heritage
1. Only five healthy years…

A recent research study highlights a rather depressing fact: ‘Only 5 years to enjoy retirement in good health’.

Looking at life expectancy and health in the UK, USA and a number of European countries, the report reveals a much greater ‘unhealthy life years’ figure than generally accepted.

In Germany, where average life expectancy is 81, an older person can spend 12 years in poor health. We live longer, but not healthier – what can be done about it?

Read more here

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2. Disability confident?

The government has committed to closing the employment gap for people with a disability.

Their main mechanism for doing so is the Disability Confident scheme, which took over from the previous “Two Ticks scheme”. But how effective is it? How many employers have engaged? And what does it mean if they do?

The parliamentary work and pensions committee has been investigating.

More details here

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3. National Parks Week

22nd – 29th July is National Parks Week, but any time at all is right for getting out and enjoying all that our parks have to offer.

If you have a disability or health condition, it is useful to have information about accessibility when planning an excursion. The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain can help.

Getting out and about is important for everybody, and research shows that physical activity in the fresh air can have a really positive effect on mental health, as well as physical.

Find out more here

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4. Dealing with social care complaints

The number of complaints referred to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has increased, and the percentage of complaints upheld has also gone up, from just over half to approaching 60%.

A part of the ombudsman’s remit is to make recommendations that will improve services generally – not just in the individual cases investigated.

They have now launched new adult social care guides, in collaboration with Healthwatch England, to enable providers to deal more effectively with complaints.

More details here

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5. Research on DFGs

A very interesting new research project is about to get going at Brunel University.

It is looking at home adaptations completed with a Disabled Facilities Grant, to see whether the changes meet the homeowner’s expectations and have an impact on their quality-of-life.

Participants need to be able to give a long telephone interview to the researcher, and have had the works done in the past two years.

Email me if you are interested

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6. Latest – CPAD; Vote for accessible heritage

Changing Places Awareness Day (CPAD) was last Thursday, too late for that week’s issue of the newsletter.

An opportunity to highlight good progress made with providing fully accessible toilet facilities, and also raise awareness of the need for many more.

Cities and large towns including Salford, Luton, Stockton-on-Tees, Gloucester and Sale have no registered Changing Places toilets at all.

More information here

Heritage Ability has made it to the finals in the heritage category of the National Lottery Awards! The charity works to improve disabled accessibility in various heritage sites across the south-west. The only heritage finalist involved with access, they need as many votes as possible to get funding to continue their work. You can vote for them online here  or by phone on 0844 836 9700.

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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