Hundreds of disabled people have committed suicide due to benefit cuts, when the government says it had healthy funds after 10 years of austerity. A 2019 report showed almost 50% of people moved from Disability Living Allowance to PIP (Personal Independence Payments) lost out financially.
Find a Decent Wheelchair
The NHS supplies free wheelchairs. But to upgrade to something more comfortable, ask about the NHS Personal Wheelchair Budget, which can help buy a private wheelchair of your choice. Which? has a good post on how to choose the best one, depending on circumstances.
One of the best-rated lightweight wheelchairs is Patterson Medical Days Escape Lite. It’s easy to transport and store, has height-adjustable footrests that detach, durable padded armrests, and adjustable seat belt.
More Help for Mobility Issues
- StairSteady was invented by a 16-year old for her GSCE project! It offers a simpler affordable alternative to stairlifts, which can cost thousands of pounds. Fitted by their engineers, this is a handle to ‘lever’ yourself up the staircase. Fold it away, then use it to come down the stairs later.
- UriBag is free on the NHS. For men or women, this latex bag looks like a film canister. Tip the pee down a drain, then fold up to take home and wash. Ideal if you can’t find a toilet in time (also get your Radar key to access public bathrooms).
- Blue Badges give free parking in disabled bays (some shops and councils still charge, so check beforehand). There is a government ‘grace period’ period of around 10 minutes if you are getting an elderly person (or dog) back to the car. You can challenge a fine. Keep disable badges at home, as some people steal them, to get free parking.
- Simply Emma is a travel blog by a young women, who offers tips galore, accommodation reviews and info on music festivals. Also visit Wheels Galore, where a man who is not defined by his disability lives a full life, and writes uplifting books.
Help for Disabled Children
Disabled Living Foundation says that around 1 in 20 children across the UK are disabled (the cost of raising a disabled child is a third more). Often due to care responsibilities, parents of disabled children earn 25% less than average. Many children with physical disabilities have learning problems, doubling the stress.
- Your local council has a duty to provide home care, adaptations, hospital visits, holiday play schemes and short break services. Some services are free, but all must be offered under Children Act 1989.
- Family Fund can offer grants to families with disabled children. Example items funded includes washing machines, bedding, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing, sensory toys and family breaks.
- Hero Arm is a bionic arm using space-age technology for amputees age 8 and over. Ambionics is another invention, created by the father of a child (who had his arm amputated at 10 days old, due to a blood clot). After giving up his career as a psychology professor, the father could not get funding from government, yet this product could change the lives of thousands of children worldwide.