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

Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news roundup.
12.02.20 Contents:
Personal Health Budgets
Advanced Care Research Centre
Pensioner poverty
More reasons to keep moving
Cupboard love!
Latest – Pay for sleep-in shifts
1. Personal Health Budgets


Since last December, anybody who is eligible for an NHS wheelchair can also access a Personal Health Budget.

Although these don’t provide any more money, sadly, they do give the user more choice and control. There is still a lot of uncertainty around them, so NHS England has produced a short explainer video.

More info here



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2. Advanced Care Research Centre


We know that life expectancy has been steadily increasing, but sadly this tends to mean longer years spent with chronic health conditions and disabilities.

The government is aiming for five extra years of healthy life by 2035, and a new Advanced Care Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh hopes to help in achieving this goal.

More information here



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3. Pensioner poverty


There is a fairly widespread misapprehension that pensioner poverty is a thing of the past, but although it is true is that the numbers of older people living in poverty have decreased significantly since the turn of the century, those numbers have been ticking up since 2010.

Pension Credit should be helping the poorest households, but more than a million eligible people are missing out.

More details here



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4. More reasons to keep moving


Early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia,  depression…

These health hazards associated with being aged 60 or over can all be made less likely if you keep physically active. Not surprisingly, overall quality of life is also improved.

Read more here



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5. Cupboard love!


I am staggered by the number of times I hear about people being offered “solutions” to their inaccessible home which involve ridiculous ideas such as sleeping in the same room as the toilet; sitting on the loo to shower; a kitchen the width of a wheelchair…

So it’s good to hear of a project that was properly thought out and provides an accessible toilet and wetroom the user really loves… even though it did start out as a cupboard!

Find out more here



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6. Latest – Pay for sleep-in shifts


Today (Wednesday 12th February) sees the legal wrangle over rates of pay for sleep-in shifts reach the Supreme Court.

Judgements have gone first one way then the other, leaving the care sector in a degree of confusion.

Many care providers, notably including Mencap, fear that they will be wiped out if required to pay six years of accumulated wages to staff who were generally paid much less than minimum wage for time spent asleep but on call if required.

We should know the answer by next 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.

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Previous newsletters are archived here.

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That’s it until next time!

Thank you for reading and best wishes,



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Frances Leckie

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

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