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December 2017
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Mybility has changed my life for good!

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Excuse the building work that was going on in these pictures but this is my Beast The Four XDL- I’ve called her JacknJill cause she is going to get me safely up n down to where I need to be.

How can you describe to anyone what it’s like to be able to access places people without disability can access?  What does it feel like being the only one of the group who has to detour to the next dropped kerb, whilst your friends cross over at the edge of the road and either wait for you to catch up, or you push like mad to get back into the conversation? Mybility

Have you ever been asked to go out for the day but suddenly discovered that there are no paths in the walk that you are taking, so the day out is curtailed or everyone else is on the beach but your wheelchair is stuck in the sand?  Mybility

Well I’ve found a new way of life with an all terrain wheelchair that doesn’t damage carpets in the house. It deals with a 6 inch kerb really easily, can access a pub with a step and a sharp turn – so I was able to join my family in a Pre-Wedding meal at a pub with no ramp – My I wished someone had videoed me doing that!    Mybility

It’s crash tested, so safe in a car with tie downs, it is able to “climb” up a wall if the corridor is a bit narrow, yes I’ve done that a number of times. It travels on uneven ground, over tree roots, in the grass. It has 5 years of parts included in the price and the frame is guaranteed for 10 years. It travels through ‘A’ bar gates which prevent motor bikes going through. I’ve already done the Wolds Way from Humber Bridge to North Ferriby and return without my battery running out.  In fact I can go to work and at the end of the day still take Alucia out on  a good hour’s walk and the battery level is still good if you look at Mybility you can see that over a period of 4 days they did the Pennine Way, how good is that.  The batteries are in the box on the back so are above the chair not underneath.

I’ve seen the videos of the kids playing in the snow and on the beach and guess what in a few weeks I will be on the sandy beach with my Assistance Dog Alucia, I can’t wait and neither can she as it has been left to others to take her to the water’s edge    Mybility

It stands me up, it lies me out so that when I have an infusion I can stay in my chair without having to transfer to a hospital bed.  It can help me reach things on the higher shelves when out shopping, while Alucia can get the items from the bottom shelves.   Mybility

I can go to work because I can cross thresholds, I don’t get stuck on gravel with my wheels going whiiiiiiirrrrrr as they dig deeper into the base of the gravel.

Alucia and I have been learning Agility in doors as its too wet outside, but she’s getting quite good and I am looking forward to teaching her new skills when we join the intermediate class out doors in June

Here we are having some training Agility class

I am, now, more than able. I researched what would be best for me and with the assistance of Access to Work, Savings and my Personal Health Budget I have a Wheelchair that is helping me live a life of Ability. Chris delivered my wheelchair to my house, and spent time making sure it fitted me, then it was outside and learn the basics.  The 4 wheel drive is very different from midwheel and rear wheel drive chairs there is so much more control.  Then it was learn the positions for climbing up kerbs and going down kerbs, the weight of the machine has to be in the right place to give the best stability.  We charged up the road in a semi standing position, over the rough grass as well as over well repaired tarmac.  I learned more in that 2 hours by being taught by someone who actually knows and uses the chair.  There is support when you need help.  I got my chair stuck in my van 2 days after getting it, but Chris  was there for me. I phoned up and in a very supportive manner, he calmed me down and then he talked me into getting my wheelchair out of my van.  You see Mybility are users of this wheelchair and they have the knowledge of what is a problem, they are a phone cal, email or a text away.  I didn’t need to call out the RAC or call a shop to be informed to bring said van and chair to them so they could lift it out.  It’s team work and I am proud to be an owner of an amazing chair through an amazing company Mybility

University of Kent help needed from wheelchair Users

At a recent visit to Naidex I came across a project that the University of Kent is trying to get Wheelchair users to help them with the information. Please take a look and if you are able to help, please print out the sheets or contact one of the authors to get a copy of the project.

Thank you for taking time to look at this and take part. The last page can be printed out 4 times. Do hope that you will be able to help them out.

Thank you University of kent

Benefits: where to get the information

Benefits in the UK change according to where you live.  There are different rules for people living in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  It is best for you to check if there is any support for you to apply for.

Check out the Citizens Advice

 

Personal Budget

Introduction

When you or someone you care about starts to have difficulty managing daily tasks at home and needs extra support and care, it can feel daunting and you might not know what help is available or how to arrange it.

The care and support system is complex and can be confusing, with many organisations involved in assessment, arrangement and provision of care.

The rules on how you pay for care and support can also be difficult to understand and it’s important to know what you are entitled to.

However, there is help and advice available and, with a bit of planning, it is possible to find good care which helps your needs.

What social care services are available?

The type of services available to help with care and support needs can include:

  • help at home with shopping, laundry and cleaning
  • intensive home care such as washing, dressing and preparing a meal
  • 24-hour care in a care home or a housing with care scheme (also known as sheltered accommodation).

If you do qualify for local authority support, instead of receiving directly-funded and arranged services, you can ask for cash payments so that you can arrange your own care.

You may also be entitled to the provision of equipment and adaptations to help make your home more suitable to meet your needs.

Where do I start?

Your first port of call should be your Local Authority (via Gov UK) – contact its social services department or contact centre.

Staff will be able to let you know about the local rules which operate in your area (every Local Authority can decide what level of eligibility for care they will provide as well as its charging policy).

Local authorities will also provide an up-to-date list of local providers and can signpost to services. Be prepared to answer questions about your care and support needs, as well as your finances.

Assessment of needs

You should also be offered an assessment of your needs. This means that a social worker (or sometimes an occupational therapist or nurse) will ask you questions about what you find difficult on a daily basis.

This assessment will be used to work out what your levels of need are and what support can be provided.

A needs assessment must always lead to the production of an agreed care and support plan. You should be provided with a copy of this plan.

Qualifying care needs

Most Local Authorities provide care for people who are categorised as having ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ levels of need.

These are the top two categories in the banding system (called Fair Access to Care Services) that is used by Local Authorities.

The bottom two categories are ‘moderate’ and ‘low’. Generally councils won’t provide services for people whose needs fall into these lower categories. If you’re in this position, you can still find services locally, but you’ll need to pay for these from your income or using savings.

Eligible needs

If you have eligible needs the Local Authority has a legal duty to meet them. To meet your needs the council may allocate a personal budget for your care.

This means that you can choose to have services arranged on your behalf or a cash payment paid to you to arrange your own care. This is called a Direct Payment.

As part of your assessment you should receive appropriate advice about how your needs should be met.

The new personal budget system is intended to allow service users greater choice and control over how their needs are met and funding arrangements.

Finances and how it affects charges for support

Care arranged by a Local Authority is not usually free. Your Local Authority will therefore ask about your finances and income.

Paying for care and support at home

There are national rules for charging care home fees which means you will pay the full cost of care if you have more than £23,250 in savings (the limits vary slightly in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

If you own your own home and no one else lives in it when you move into a care home, the council is able to take into account the value of the property and use it to pay for care home fees.

In charging for home care, most Local Authorities will use the £23,250 savings limit, but it can vary. However, the value of your property will not be taken into account.

Charges for care are complex, and you should seek more detailed advice from the Age UK advice line on 0800 169 6565.

It’s also very important to ensure that you get all of your benefits and entitlements. For example, there is a non means-tested benefit called Attendance Allowance which provides a weekly income to help meet additional costs which arise from a disability or difficulty with everyday activities.

 

Personal Health Budgets are for Who?

About personal health budgets

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Personal health budgets are being introduced by the NHS to help people manage their care in a way that suits them. They have been piloted in a number of places across England and since October 2014, adults receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare and children in receipt of continuing care have had a right to have a personal health budget.

What is a personal health budget?

A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your identified health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you and your local NHS team. The aim is to give people with long-term conditions and disabilities greater choice and control over the healthcare and support they receive.

Personal health budgets work in a similar way to the personal budgets that many people are already using to manage and pay for their social care.

Together with your NHS team (such as a GP) you will develop a care plan. The plan sets out your personal health and wellbeing needs, the health outcomes you want to achieve, the amount of money in the budget and how you are going to spend it. You can use a personal health budget to pay for a wide range of items and services, including therapies, personal care and equipment. This will allow you more choice and control over the health services and care you receive.

You don’t have to change any healthcare or support that is working well for you just because you get a personal health budget.

Visit the peoplehub website, where people with a personal health budget and their families and carers can talk about their personal health budget experiences.

Who can have a personal health budget?

The first group to be able to have a personal health budget are adults getting NHS Continuing Healthcare, which is NHS-funded long-term health and personal care provided outside hospital. Children who are eligible for continuing care also have a right to have a personal health budget.

Local NHS organisations will be free to offer personal health budgets to other people if they think an individual will benefit. It is the government’s long-term aim, to introduce a right to a personal health budget for people who would benefit from it.

Can I have a personal health budget as well as a personal budget for social care and support?

Yes. If you already have a personal budget for care and support from social services and your NHS team agrees, you can also have a personal health budget and ask for both to be paid into the same account.

Do I have to have a personal health budget?

No. If having a personal health budget does not work for you, your local NHS will provide the care you need as it has always done.

What is the difference between a personal health budget, a personal budget, an individual budget and a direct payment?

  • A personal health budget is for your NHS healthcare and support needs.
  • A personal budget is for your social care and support needs.
  • An individual budget includes your social care and support needs plus other funding, such as independent living.
  • A direct payment is one way of managing these budgets, where you get the cash to buy the agreed care and support you need.

Assistance Dogs

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Assistance Dogs are important for many different reasons.  Here is what to look for.

Does the dog’s jacket have the ADUK symbol?

Does it say Please do not distract? This is most important as it is a working dog not a pet.  This means the dog is focussed on its work and the Partner is dependent on that. Please ignore the dog. I know it is really hard, and they look so soft and touchable, but it is SO IMPORTANT that you ask permission. Distracting the dog makes it forget what it was doing.  Wait until the Partner gets the dog prepared to say hello, and then the dog can really enjoy the meeting of you.  Distraction stops the dog from working and limits its concentration.

Check out the information on Assistance Dogs If they are a member of  ADUK http://http://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/ they are a member of a coalition of assistance dog organisations that encourages the exchange of ideas and best practice amongst its members, raises awareness amongst the general public and promotes behavioural and legislative changes to ensure the freedom, independence and rights of its clients.

My Assistance Dog, Alucia, is trained by Canine Partners http://www.caninepartners.org.uk  but the ADUK website will give further information of other assistance dogs.  All members of ADUK hold registration documents which allows a dog to visit restaurants, and other food outlets. They are properly trained to work in areas pet dogs are not allowed to enter.

Save money on your Bills

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 Save Money on your Home Bills

I’m living proof. I’ve been a member since 2004 and every time another company contacts me to “try and save me money” they tell me if I have more than gas and electricity then they can’t.  What better proof is that!

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Save money on your Business Bills

 

Prescription Drugs

Question if I’ve been prescribed medication and I don’t use all the tablets can I return them to the pharmacy or should I throw them away?   JD

   To get rid of them please return them to your Pharmacy / Chemist and they will dispose of them.

Please don’t throw them down the toilet or sink or they will reach the waterways.

Please don’t throw them away in the rubbish, or they will eventually reach the water and as you can see, in both ways you may affect peoples’ health.

Please don’t re-order your tablets so that they are going to be stocked up.  If you do they may go out of date. If they do go out of date they should not be used. They will not contain the correct dose that your doctor wants you to have.

Please don’t give your prescription drugs to anyone else as it could cause serious problems with their health.

Professor Steve Field, the leader of Britain’s family doctors, urged those who share medicines to stop before someone died as a result. “The sharing of drugs in this way is very dangerous because neither the patient who was first prescribed the medication nor the person now taking them will understand the drug or its side effects, or its possible interaction with other drugs you may be taking, those taking them are putting themselves at risk of harm or even death.”