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Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.
28.11.18 Contents:
Consumer rights for care home residents
Animal Assisted Therapy
Carers’ Rights Day
Regain – Transforming Lives
Disability & Employment
Latest – Fuss Free Phones; OT Show
1. Consumer rights for care home residents

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been looking into the inadequate state of consumer protection in the care home market.

They have recently published their guidance on the consumer rights that residents and their families should expect.

You can read more here

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2. Animal Assisted Therapy

We pet owners aren’t in any doubt about the therapeutic benefits of our feline or canine companions.

Science agrees with us, as increasing numbers of studies demonstrate the positive contribution made by even quite brief contact with a pet animal.

Lower blood pressure and breathing rates, less depression, reduced pain levels, improved cognition – these are just some of the proven benefits achieved with animal assisted therapy.

Read more here

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3. Carers’ Rights Day

Friday, 30 November is Carers’ Rights Day.

I have recently been speaking to a range of people with direct experience of care provision, both formal and informal, and the constant refrain was the crucial importance of finding a way to support family carers, so that the whole precarious edifice doesn’t come crashing down.

Every day, it is estimated that 6000 people take on caring responsibilities. This is usually not something they have planned for.

We have an area of Independent Living to help – start here.

And please read a guest blog written for us a while ago by Matthew Harris, who cared for his mother until she died of Huntington’s disease. He is campaigning for family carers to be paid properly for the work they do.

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4. Regain – Transforming Lives

There is only one charity in the UK dedicated entirely to supporting people who have become tetraplegic as a result of sporting accidents.

Regain has just launched a campaign, Transforming Lives, with the aim of raising £1 million, so that they can provide grants for specialist equipment and educational or vocational courses. This will help improve the independence of more individuals affected by the full or partial loss of the use of all four limbs.

Find out more here

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5. Disability & Employment

Disability Confident” is marking its second anniversary this month, signing up the 10,000th business to the scheme, which focuses on the role that employers play in ensuring disabled people are recruited, retained and supported in their careers.

Latest employment figures show that more than half of people with disabilities are in work, but there is still a wide disability employment gap.

The government’s new Work and Health Challenge Fund is distributing £3.9 million between nineteen innovative projects aimed at helping people to stay in work when they might otherwise drop out of the labour market due to mental health or musculoskeletal problems.

More information here

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6. Latest – Fuss Free Phones; OT Show

Very sadly, the highly regarded Fuss Free Phones service is no longer available.

Despite having outstanding customer satisfaction ratings, and recently being shortlisted for the Innovating for Ageing awards, the company behind the simple and user-friendly mobile phone network has gone into liquidation.

More information here

OT show logo

I promised feedback from the OT Show which I went to last week. Apart from the worst cold in living memory, I have returned with some interesting product news, from a number of different suppliers. More details to follow, though one highlight was seeing a demonstration of Theraposture’s Rotoflex 235 Plus bed, which won the inaugural Excellence in Caring Award.

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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