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

Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news roundup.

25.11.20 Contents:

• Ageing and dependency

• Unfair housing allocations

 1 million Yellow Cards

 Disability History Month

• Masks and lung function

• Latest - Scottish Disability Benefits

Active ageing to avoid dependency trap

1. Ageing and dependency

State retirement age may be gradually increasing, from 66 now to 67, 68… but poor health and lack of fitness start to have an impact on people’s capability for work from about the age of 50.

Professor of Statistics Les Mayhew is warning that unless people are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle which keeps them fit and able to work for longer, like this chap, increasing resources will be required for supporting carers and disability benefits, and the generally accepted rule of thumb by which adult life divides into two thirds working and one third retirement will be missed.

Read more here

Judgement On unfair housing allocations

2. Unfair housing allocations

An interesting judgement from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsmanconcerning a council’s policy on housing allocations.

By refusing to allow a couple to join the housing register, despite the fact that they wanted to move to the area in order to care for an elderly relative, East Lindsey District Council was failing in its public sector equality duty with regard to people with disabilities.

More details here

Medical Product safety - 1 million yellow cards

3. 1 million Yellow Cards

The Yellow Card scheme is the UK’s system for reporting suspected side effects to medicines and adverse incidents with medical devices.

It is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This month, the agency received its one millionth Yellow Card, and wants to encourage people to get in touch if ever they experience or observe a device failing to perform as it should, or a medical treatment causing an unexpected side-effect.

Read more here

Marking Disability History Month

4. Disability History Month

UK Parliament is launching a new pack of educational resources to celebrate Disability History Month.

Illustrated by Ananya Rao-Middleton, the downloadable book includes six stories exploring the lives of people who have influenced disability laws and rights in the UK. It is suitable for teachers, home educators and parents to share with children aged seven to 11.

Among those featured is Dame Anne Begg, one of the first wheelchair users in the House of Commons.

More details here

Face masks don't impair lung function

5. Masks and lung function

We have had so many enquiries from people seeking exemption from wearing a face covering I have lost count.

A small percentage of people can’t wear a mask due to disability, but most of us can – and should – to protect ourselves and others.

An interesting new study researching facemasks and physical activityshows that while they might feel uncomfortable, masks do not really change the actual work of breathing or the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Read more here

Scottish disability benefits

6. Latest – Scottish disability benefits

As you probably know, disability benefits are a devolved matter, and carers in Scotland already benefit from more generous Carer’s Allowanceas a result.

The timetable for rolling out key benefits has been thrown by the pandemic, but the Scottish government has now announced its new schedule.

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.

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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