Welcome to this week's Independent Living newsletter. 31.01.24 Contents:
• Launch of All In
• Housing for disabled people
•Physios at home
•Music and brain health
• Deprivation of capital
• Kidz to Adultz Middle
1. Launch of All In
I have a great new initiative in the arts to tell you about this week.
All In was set up to improve access to creative and cultural events for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people.
Led by Arts Council England in partnership with Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and the British Film Institute (BFI), they are developing a UK wide access scheme.
I'm sure you are well aware of the chronic shortage of accessible housing in Britain. You may be affected by it personally.
The Parliamentary Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee is looking into the subject, with a view to considering how the Government, local councils and developers can ensure disabled people have access to housing that is suitable for their needs.
Chatting to my father about his new iPad last week, I was slightly taken aback when his answer to solving a technical issue with it was to say: "Don't worry, my physio will help me when he comes on Tuesday".
This was how I discovered that he is benefiting from a course of weekly visits from a health professional who is helping him improve his balance and reduce the risk of falling. Plus kindly providing unscheduled tech support on the side!
I'm delighted to say that Independent Living has a new contributor, Robin McNelis (pictured here), who is part of this cohort of physios providing rehab at home, and you can read his first article here.
4. Music and brain health
An interesting new study from the University of Exeter has found that playing a musical instrument or singing in a choir is associated with better brain health in older age. Apparently, piano is particularly good!
The findings come from an online study which has been running for 10 years, and is still very much ongoing - you can join it if you are over 40.
Having written about Attendance Allowance last week, my attention was caught by CASCAIDr's commentary on an Ombudsman decision concerning the benefit and the concept of "deprivation of capital".
Deprivation of capital is where a person deliberately deprives themselves of income or assets in order to benefit from free or reduced cost social care support.
This particular case turned on the fact that the lady concerned had not applied for Attendance Allowance, but her income was calculated as if she was receiving this benefit. The argument being that she should have applied and by not doing so, had intentionally deprived herself...
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