Independent Living – Welcome to the final Independent Living news roundup of the year.

Hello Hannah
Welcome to the final Independent Living news roundup of the year.
19.12.18 Contents:
DFGs reviewed
PIP assessment changes
Fall prevention
Safe moving and handling
Popular guest blogs
Looking to 2019
1. DFGs reviewed

As the Disabled Facilities Grant turns 30 in 2019, it is the last man standing from a range of housing grants that were intended to fund repairs, improvements and adaptations.

Last week saw the publication of a government-commissioned independent review, which makes many recommendations about overhauling the system of funding adaptations to increase independence for elderly and disabled people.

Read more here

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2. PIP assessment changes

Any items about benefits – especially PIP – always attract attention from readers and visitors.

In a curious conflation, the DWP slipped out news about revised guidance on PIP assessments at the bottom of a press release about support for helping disabled people who are long-term unemployed to find and keep a job.

A development that ought to relieve a lot of stress and anxiety for many claimants will see all those whose care needs are expected to stay the same or increase given an ongoing award with a “light touch” review every 10 years.

More information here

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3. Fall prevention

Another perennial favourite on Independent Living is our information about fall prevention.

Perhaps this is not surprising. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard about a happily independent older person who has died as the ultimate event in a predictable sequence that begins with a fall. Next stages – hospital stay; return home not possible; failure to eat properly; pressure sores developing…

It is clear that any efforts invested in preventing those falls in the first place are worthwhile.

We also have useful information about responding safely to someone when they fall.

And an interesting piece about predicting falls.

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4. Safe moving and handling

Safe moving and handling is another topic which exercises people a great deal, and whether or not two people are required for every lift.

I don’t know if anyone else heard the former nurse, Christie Watson on Saturday Live last weekend? She made a throwaway comment that everybody working in health and care gets a back injury eventually.

Even allowing for some exaggeration for dramatic effect, it really shouldn’t be the case that nurses and carers just expect their occupations to result in a bad back.

And at a time when there is more well-designed equipment than ever before, and insistence on proper training in moving and handling appears to be top of every manager’s health and safety list, I find it baffling.

You can read about the five key principles of safe manual handling here and an interesting take on the persistence of so-called double handed care, here

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5. Popular guest blogs

Two of the most-read guest articles on Independent Living highlight two issues of great importance to many visitors.

Talk about Toilets is Robin Tuffley’s explanation of the importance of fully accessible Changing Places public toilet facilities. Important not only for the very disabled people and their carers who need them, but also commercially important, as a destination which offers these facilities will attract more visitors to stay longer and spend more money…

Talk about Toilets

And Paying Unpaid Carers is an account by Matthew Harris of his campaign to get informal carers proper remuneration for the work they do. He is now on his third attempt to get 100,000 signatures on a petition so that the government has to take notice.

Paying Unpaid Carers

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6. Looking to 2019

2019 is a special year for Independent Living. The website that grew into the comprehensive information resource you can visit today began life in 1999.

It looked very different of course. Back then, when we were one of only three million websites, rather than approaching two billion, we agonised over every tiny image we used, as each one would take seconds to load over a dial-up internet connexion.

We were still finding our feet over content, as well as style, so for some reason we thought it a good idea to include lottery results and a share price checker on the site!

Read more 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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The next newsletter will be coming your way on 9th January 2019.

Until then, I would like to thank you for reading, and send you all my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,


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Frances Leckie

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

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