Did you recently read or hear about David Weir and his housing situation? Despite his huge success he still lives in an awkward and inaccessible house. Imagine, if a 6 time gold Paralympic hero struggles, what is life like for an everyday disabled person?
In general the cost of living is rocketing, incomes are falling and then there’s the fact that life costs more if you are disabled. Then let us take a more specific look at social care. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, preparing food and showering are basic, but necessary actions for us all. Many disabled people are being denied access to this very crucial support. Richard Hawkes explains this exceptionally well in his New Statesman article.
On a personal level, I’ve just travelled the length of this great country and seen some of the most amazing sights of Britain. With my wheelchair, adapted car and 24/7 care support; I’m independent, run my own business and travel the world. However in the past I have had issues securing the funding for these essential foundations to my life.
Of course, this problem is wider than my own experiences. The care system is in crisis, local authority budgets can’t cope and two things are happening: The bar on who gets care is rising, and those lucky enough to get care are seeing their services squeezed and rationed. Furthermore, with an ageing population, this effects everyone of us!
On a political level the Care Bill will be debated by MPs in the commons in late October. The government is attempting to sort this mess out. The big question is who is in and who is out of this system. I fear they are going to set the bar at a very high level.
From government to the general public, from businesses to disabled people; we all have basic needs and deserve to have them with dignity. I just hope we all wake up and act before we reverse the great progress of disability rights in recent years.
Whilst David Weir fights for accessible housing, Hannah Cockroft is fighting for our social care and our future. She is supporting Scope at the Britain Cares event in Parliament on 22nd October. Here Hannah is having her photo taken with MPs as they review the I Care photos taken by their constituents.
So #WhatDoYouDoWithYours? Are you similar to me, living your life with some social care support? Let’s get sharing our stories and help people understand why this is so important.
Post with the #WhatDoYouDoWithYours hashtag on Twitter and share the story of what you use social care to do in their lives.
By Martyn Sibley