8 out of 10 disabled
people and carers concerned about the future, new Christmas survey finds
LOCAL disabled people's charity
Revitalise, which runs the Sandpipers respite break centre in Southampton,
has unveiled the results of its new survey, entitled:- 'A Revitalise
Christmas Carol'. Echoing the timeless story of Scrooge in the Charles
Dickens classic, the study examined the past, present and future of disabled
people and carers.
The survey found that 83% disabled people and their carers are concerned
about what the future holds, with 43% saying they were either very worried
or had never been so worried about what is in store for them. Only 5% said
they were unconcerned about the future.
Of the majority of disabled people and carers expressing concerns for the
future, 63% were concerned about diminishing respite and social
opportunities, 53% said they worried about getting less support from
statutory services and 43% expressed fears about ending up isolated and
alone. Highlighting their financial worries, 32% of disabled people and
carers said they had no idea how they would make ends meet in future.
When asked by Revitalise what measures would do most to improve their
quality of life in the future, a categorical 65% said more or better respite
and/or social opportunities would make a difference. 46% said they needed
more practical support and 39% said they wanted to feel more financially
Turning a spotlight on the past and present, the survey unveiled an apparent
deterioration in the quality of life of disabled people and carers, compared
with the past. 32% of disabled people and an emphatic 66% of carers agreed
that their experience of giving and receiving care was better in the past.
In regard to the current worries of the disabled people and carers surveyed,
fears about feeling isolated and stuck in one place came top of the list,
shared by 46% of the respondents, followed by worries about the practical
support they get from social and other services (44%) and an increasing lack
of empathy and understanding of their situation (40%). A shocking 26% of
disabled people and carers said they were scared to speak up about their
situation for fear of repercussions.
In light of the survey's findings, Revitalise is renewing its call for more
practical and financial support for disabled people and carers in order to
alleviate their fears for the future. The charity is calling on social care
decision makers to take a cue from Scrooge's redemptive story and help
ensure that disabled people and carers can look forward to the future with
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:- "Just as the
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come gave Ebenezer Scrooge a disturbing glimpse
into his future, our survey has given us a glimpse into the future
expectations of disabled people and carers. While most people are looking
forward to the New Year with at least some degree of optimism, the reality
for disabled people and carers is that they have never been more fearful of
what the future holds for them. For many disabled people and carers, the
support they receive is an absolute lifeline, enabling them to maintain an
adequate quality of life and make a meaningful contribution to society. But
our survey has revealed that disabled people and carers have very little
confidence that they will continue to receive the support they need into the
future. Those who took part in our survey have also made it very clear just
how important regular respite is for disabled people and carers alike.
That's why we will keep on repeating that access to regular, good quality
respite breaks for disabled people and those who care for them should never
be considered a luxury but an absolute essential. Scrooge's story teaches us
that we must believe in the possibility of change. In the story, Scrooge was
able to change his ways and alter the lives of all those around him. We
should take inspiration from this lesson and give disabled people and carers
the support they need to look to the future with renewed confidence."
Disabled survey participant Fiona added this Christmas wish to Revitalise's
campaign:- "I would like people with disabilities to be included in
society more, in work, leisure and social activities. I would like people
with disabilities to not have to worry so much about their finances and for
society to recognise the ability in disability."
Revitalise is a local charity providing respite holidays for disabled people
and carers at Sandpipers in Southport and 2 other accessible centres in
Chigwell in Essex and Southampton. Each centre provides short breaks, with
24 hour nurse led care on call and personal support, with a wide range of
accessible activities and excursions in a holiday environment.
People wanting to support the charity or for more information about
Revitalise respite holidays are requested to visit:-
Revitalise.Org.UK or call:- 0303 303 0145.