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

Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news roundup.
15.07.20 Contents:
Heroes in Masks
How beds can help caring
Open Assisted Living Lab
How we are “distance caring”
Shaping personal care
Latest – PIP updates
1. Heroes in Masks


I wrote quite recently about facemasks, and the research showing what an important role they could play in preventing a resurgence of COVID-19, if we got into the habit of wearing them…

The English government has now announced that it will be following Scotland’s lead on masks, and making them compulsory in shops. Two-thirds of us feel safer if we and those around us wear one, so this should encourage the third who haven’t worn one when going out, to rethink it.

Heroes, the charity set up by and for NHS workers has some interesting research - read more here




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2. How beds can help caring


For many people, becoming a carer is something that creeps up almost unnoticed. Your partner needs a bit of help with managing some aspect of daily living, then a bit more, and with more activities, until you suddenly realise that you are responsible for their day-to-day quality of life and well-being.

One thing that can make a big difference to both parties is having the right bed, and a guest article from CareCo runs through the options



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3. Open Assisted Living Lab


Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have launched what is believed to be the world’s first open and remote access living lab to research and create solutions for Ambient Assisted Living (OpenAAL).

The multi-disciplinary lab will target the fast co-creation of solutions to support the care of vulnerable people whose urgent need has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is part of the National Robotarium - who knew we had one of those!

Read more here



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4. How we are “distance caring”


One of the many things the pandemic has changed is the way we interact with family and friends who are elderly or otherwise more vulnerable to infection.

Where once having a parent in a local care home would have meant regular visits and close contact, now it doesn’t matter how nearby, you are very likely barred from entering.

Everyone is caring at a distance now, and the University of Hull has embarked on some new research into the ways that people are keeping in touch when they can’t physically visit.

More details here



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5. Shaping personal care


Disability rights activist Daniel Holt, shown here on the left, has been in touch about recruiting people who use PAs (Personal Assistants) to join a new focus group.

The idea is to explore ways in which a care provider can provide the assistance people want, which keeps them in control and minimises the administrative and management burdens of employing personal assistants.

More details here



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6. Latest – PIP updates


We get so many questions about disability benefits on Independent Living, it sometimes feels quite overwhelming.

We always do our best to answer, as quickly and accurately as possible, but it would be fair to say that there is a lot of confusion around, and people seem to have very different experiences of what should be the same procedure.

Our benefits section has recently been updated with the latest information we have on PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

More 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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That’s it until next week!

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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