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

Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news roundup.

23.09.20 Contents:

 Long COVID explained

• Dementia and pain

 Too few social care complaints

 Breathing in a facemask

 Medequip in Medway

• Latest – PIP renewal worries

Long COVID - Blood clots to the fore

1. “Long COVID” explained

As our understanding of COVID-19 increases, it is becoming clear that we are really facing two different diseases.

One is a fairly short-term respiratory illness, from which the great majority of people make a full recovery. The other, which manifests itself at around 9 to 10 days, is a much more serious condition which appears to be more about blood clots and an over-active immune system than viral activity…

Pay attention, here comes the science bit!

dementia and pain

2. Dementia and pain

It is a sadly familiar experience for people living with dementia. They may well be experiencing pain, about which they are unable to communicate with carers.

It is estimated that half of care home residents with the condition have persistent pain which is undiagnosed or inadequately treated.

The world’s first intelligent pain assessment tool uses AI to help identify and manage pain in people with dementia.

More details here

Too few complaints about Independent social care providers

3. Too few social care complaints

Once again, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is highlighting the fact that very few complaints are received about adult social care arranged privately with independent providers, rather than through the local authority.

We can speculate about the reasons why people are reluctant to complain, but one consequence is that the sector as a whole is missing out on opportunities to learn and improve.

Read more here

Face mask Breathing Insert

4. Breathing in a facemask

We receive so many requests for help on Independent Living from people who struggle to wear a face covering due to respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD.

We routinely explain that people unable to wear a mask due to a disability or long-term condition are exempt from doing so. However, the more of us who wear masks when in situations where we are coming in contact with others, the more effective we will be at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

So I was really pleased to come across a breathing insert that goes inside the mask and gives the wearer more space. Disability Horizons is the place to get hold of these reusable plastic inserts, which also help prevent glasses fogging up

Medequip chosen for CES in Medway

5. Medequip in Medway

We know that getting access to the right equipment as quickly as possible is one of the keys to keeping people living independently and safely in their own home.

Community Equipment Services (CES) provide this essential service, and results are variable. Medway is one of 15 councils identified as achieving better than average outcomes from a less than average spend per head. They have just selected Medequip to manage their CES.

More details here

DWP and PIP renewal worries

6. Latest – PIP renewal worries

We have been hearing from people on Independent Living who are concerned that they are reaching the end of their PIP Award, and haven’t been contacted by the DWP.

We are not alone. Advice forum Benefits and Work is also experiencing the same thing.

If you get to the end of your award period without reapplying, the benefit will stop, unless the DWP applies another pandemic-related extension. Which you really can’t count on.

More information 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.

That’s it until next week!

Thank you for reading and best wishes,


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Independent Living
Frances Leckie


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

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