Welcome to the Independent Living newsletter.
08.11.17 Contents:
Sailing for everyone
Take care of your teeth
Rules rewritten on PIP
Calling equipment suppliers...
Derek's View – Closomat with a macerator
Latest - Helpline; Digital games in rehab
1. Sailing for everyone

I have a terrific guest blog for you this week, written by someone who can really only be described as a force of nature!

Mike Wood's life changed irrevocably when a motorcycle accident left him paralysed from the chest down. Far from slowing him down, this led him to take up a range of sports, initially as part of his rehab, though he continued to compete at international level, retiring as British recordholder in Shot, Discus, Javelin and Triathlon.

Watersports followed, and he dedicated himself to making sailing truly accessible for wheelchair users. Founding the Disabled Sailors Association, he has now developed craft from catamaran to one and two man dinghies that can be used by people whatever their disability.

Read some of his remarkable story here


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2. Take care of your teeth

Are you confident that you know how to brush your teeth properly? Half of us manage to miss out or "orphan" a quarter of our teeth most of the time...

Which may not be a huge surprise, given that a majority of people have never been shown how it should be done.

Effective regular brushing is essential to good oral health, and avoiding many of the dental treatments we undergo.

So you may be interested to hear about the first "teeth tracking" device and app, which works with any toothbrush.

Read more here


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3. Rules rewritten on PIP

As figures from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) show that complaints about PIP have risen by an astonishing 880% in a year, one group of claimants at least has something to celebrate.

The government has been forced to change the rules, to come into line with an Upper Tribunal judgement made in March this year. It overturned the rule that people could carry out tasks unsupervised if they were "unlikely" to come to harm, and instead, the assessment should consider how serious the harm would be, if it did occur.

People with epilepsy – who are more likely to be turned down for PIP than those with any other health condition – will benefit from the U-turn. A seizure can occur at any time, often without warning, and may have catastrophic results. But because assessors could judge that a seizure was unlikely, they were often refused PIP.

Some 10,000 people are likely to be affected, receiving £70-£90 a week, backdated to March.

There is general information about PIP here


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4. Calling equipment suppliers

The North of England group of Occupational Therapists in private practice has been in touch, to ask whether there are any companies with new and innovative aids, or who are able to offer CPD (Continuous Professional Development) activities, to address their future meetings on any topic relevant to disability, occupational therapy, aids and adaptations, private practice or training/education.

They meet up twice a year, alternating between venues in the north-east and north-west. If you would like to showcase your innovations to a group of OTs, you should contact Kate Makin, the regional coordinator, by email, kate.makin@googlemail.com


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5. Derek's View – Closomat with a macerator

Two great conveniences in the world of toilets now work together…

Many of us benefit from an extra loo in the house, thanks to the invention of the macerator, which facilitates easy and affordable installation at a distance from existing soil pipes and mains drains.

Now, for the first time, that flexibility of installation is available with a wash and dry toilet

The Closomat Palma Vita is the first WC of its kind that can be installed where you need it, without major upheaval, even if there isn’t already a toilet there.

You can see more here


If you provide high quality products and services, and you would like to reach our site visitors and newsletter readers, please email derek@independentliving.co.uk


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6. Latest - Helpline; Digital games in rehab

Helpline, the personal alarm service, has an updated showcase page on Independent Living, featuring a new video explaining how to sign up for their service.

They can also provide clients with solar powered external security lights, which don't require any wiring – handy as the nights draw in! More about those, here


'research into use of digital games in rehabAn interesting research project at the University of Glasgow aims to collect feedback about the use of digital and interactive games in the rehabilitation of disabled people, and also, the use of recommendation apps with privacy management for disabled people. There are questionnaires to complete if you would like to contribute, either as a disabled individual, or as a professional working with people with disabilities.

You can read more 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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Until next time, all good wishes,


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Frances Leckie

e: editor @ independentliving.co.uk
t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
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