Independent Living Advisory Service

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As part of our Golden Jubilee celebrations we are delighted to announce the launch of our Independent Living Advisory service. This service will mean that, in addition to providing developments of state-of-the art mobility apartments with support on call and on-site 24/7, we will now also be able to take our unparalleled expertise to people living out in the wider community.

Our Independent Living Advisor will visit people in their own homes, people whose condition has deteriorated so that they just cannot manage essential everyday tasks on their own any more. Or maybe they have just had to face a life changing diagnosis of disability - something that will happen to one in five people at some point in their lives.

So often people in these situations have no idea what questions they should be asking let alone of whom to ask them, but as the only charity in the Jewish community dedicated to enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, we can now be there to show how life can and does go on.

50 years on from when the charity was first established so much has changed, not just in terms of Jewish Blind & Disabled's own developments but also in terms of the aids and technologies that now exist and that can make all the difference to someone's ability to maintain their much-prized independence.

From wet floor shower rooms to grab rails in the shower, and from internal lifts to rise and recliner chairs there are so many ways in which life can be made easier and independence become more than just a dream. Our Independent Living Advisor could produce a tailor made set of recommendations for you or a loved one who you think could benefit from this unique service. And where these are not affordable she may even be able to recommend that Jewish Blind & Disabled pay for the aids, for the user to keep for as long as they need them.

Just two examples of the ways in which people's lives are already being improved and enhanced by this life-changing service are:

Mrs L was finding her ability to cook for herself, and thereby maintain her independence, was being severely impaired by her increasing difficulty with opening jars, cans, bottles and containers. She even struggled with pouring a kettle and found it hard to lift a saucepan to drain the contents. She was worried that the kitchen, her favourite room in the house, was increasingly becoming a no go area. Our Independent Living Advisor was able to recommend a number of useful and affordable aids that would make all the difference, including gadgets for opening jars etc, a kettle tipper and a cooking basket to fit inside her saucepans. Mrs L also had problems getting in and out of her bath which could necessitate much more major changes to her home. However, the Independent Living Advisor did not feel that large scale adaptations were in fact required at this stage, and instead suggested that she use a bath seat and a bath step to help her in this area. In addition the Advisor was also able to recommend that Mrs L apply for Attendance Allowance Benefit for which she had not realised she was eligible.

Another lady, who we shall call Mrs E, struggled with her dexterity finding it increasingly hard to dress herself and even to manage to eat and drink on her own, and she hated the idea of having to become dependent on someone else to help her with these personal tasks. Our Independent Living Advisor was able to reassure her that aids do exist which will enable her to continue to manage for herself for some time to come including cutlery that is easy to grips and twists in the shafts making it adjustable to any angle, as well as easy to hold drinking cups. In addition dressing would be made much easier using such gadgets as a bra angel, sock helper and dressing sticks.

These examples show how major issues that have a real impact on people's ability to look after themselves and, hence, on their overall sense of well-being; can often be solved by relatively small gadgets and aids if only people knew that they were available. Of course some issues need much more expensive solutions and may even require large scale adaptations to someone's home, but our Independent Living Advisor will be able to recommend the best course of action and ensure that this route is only followed when absolutely necessary.

For more information or to make an appointment email ila@jbd.org or call 020 8371 6611 ext 613