The Independent Living newsletter, 14th October 2020 View in browser


Welcome to this week's Independent Living news roundup.

14.10.20 Contents:

Just what is FES?

Moving into independent living?

£1 million refund to Care UK residents

Against the Odds

Chilli Bean helps daily living

Latest - PIP audio and video

Sarah Joiner writing about FES

1. Just what is FES?

You may well ask! I was very hazy about it, but we are fortunate enough to have a great article written by Sarah Joiner (shown here), who is the Vice Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

She was diagnosed with MS in 1981, and benefits from the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). She explains the ins and outs of this non-invasive approach to dealing with the challenge of walking with MS, Parkinson's, post stroke...

Read more here

Independent Living homes at Amesbury Abbey

2. Moving into Independent Living?

Many people with an elderly parent who lives alone will have encountered the dilemma of watching them become less able to manage, and not being sure how best to help. One solution that is growing in popularity is moving into "independent living housing", where independence and freedom are prioritised, but with help on hand if required.

We have a sponsored article from Amesbury Abbey Group with useful information about how to support an elderly relative to make a good decision about their future living arrangements.

More details here

EHRC Guidance for retailers

3. £1 million refund to Care UK residents

Last week, I featured Philip Mathias's CrowdJustice appeal for a judicial review of the dysfunctional NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) system.

Today I have another story of financial loss connected with CHC. Nursing home group Care UK charged some of their frailest and most vulnerable residents an extra £300-plus a week for care that should've been covered by NHS CHC.

Happily, the CMA has intervened

Against the Odds Podcast

4. Against the Odds

Independence for Life is a new project which aims to provide disabled citizens with the necessary tools to take control of their own lives.

Most services will begin next Spring, but one strand that is already close to launch is the podcast, Against The Odds. And Independence for Life is looking for potential interviewees who have overcome the challenges they face and achieved outstanding success.

If you would like to be considered, please get in touch.

AAT's Chilli Bean

5. Chilli Bean helps daily living

Carers looking after someone with low muscle tone or control now have a new solution to ensure their charge is properly supported - without pressure points - yet not confined to one space.

Independent Living site subscriber AAT GB has developed its Chilli Bean mobile support system in collaboration with Occupational Therapists, to meet the daily requirements of caring for someone with complex motor issues.

Essentially, the user can be wheeled about as necessary whilst being correctly supported in a comfortable position.

Find out more here

Audio recordings of pip assessments

6. Latest - PIP audio and video

I know - because they write to Independent Living - that many benefits claimants are bewildered and infuriated when they discover that the record of their PIP assessment produced by the assessor bears little or no relationship to what actually went on.

Audio recordings of telephone assessments are now being kept - but only by one of the two companies contracted to carry them out in England and Wales.

And are video assessments a step too far? Trials are currently underway...

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.

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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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