Independent Living

HearPeers support programme for people with hearing loss

HearPeers support programme for people with hearing loss

Finding out you have hearing loss can be a shock, the signs can be subtle and it may just creep up on you. If your loved one has been diagnosed you may not know how to help them or where to turn to for support. The HearPeers Mentor Programme is a community of hearing implant users and their family members who are dedicated to supporting individuals who may be going through the same experience.


There are more than 11 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss – that’s one in six and research shows it takes ten years on average for people to address their problem.


Reunion with family friends brings joy to Rachel

Rachel Fuller

For Kent woman Rachel Fuller, life has just taken a turn for the better since she’s been reunited with long-standing family friends.


Rachel (29), who has learning difficulties and complex health needs, lives at a residential home in Strood run by Regard, the fourth largest private specialist care-provider in the UK.


Andy Jupp, who manages Kingsdown House, said: “Rachel is so happy that we’ve managed to support her to re-establish contact with her friends.


“It took some detective work by us to track the couple down. They were a big part of Rachel’s early life and it means a lot to her that they have started meeting up again.


Having the time of his life

Martin shopping

A man who has spent most of his life adult life living in care services and hospitals across the country is now leading an independent life in the community in rural Lincolnshire. 


Martin, who has a number of physical and mental health needs, is now being supported to live in his own self-contained one-bedroom bungalow on the outskirts of Holbeach.


The 36-year-old enjoys helping staff at Willoughby Lodge – run by care provider Regard – around the house and garden, baking and meeting up with friends.


Dedicated website helps individuals and families navigate the world of Technology Enabled Care Services

A new website has been launched offering practical advice and support to people coping with disabilities and long-term health conditions who wish to remain living independently in their own homes.

Called, the website signposts individuals and families to information and personal real-life case studies on various Technology Enabled Care Services (TECs) which enable users to maintain their independence, support themselves in their own homes and to manage their own health conditions.

Tynetec, a brand of Legrand Assisted Living & Healthcare, is the company behind the platform which has also received endorsement from renowned TV Doctor Hilary Jones.

Pavement and Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters Becoming More Popular with Younger People

Mobility Scooters

It once might have been that mobility scooters were considered to be the reserve of the elderly. In recent years, that’s all changing.

Now, mobility scooters are often picked as the transport option of choice for younger people with mobility difficulties, many of which are in their 50s, 40s, 30s and even 20s.

What’s making mobility scooters popular with younger people?

An increasing number of younger people are choosing to invest in mobility scooters instead of wheelchairs. New technologies mean that scooters can last longer on one battery charge than they might have done previously, and they’re also more fashionable and more practical.

New research identifies valuable role technology can play in determining most appropriate care for those with learning disabilities


New independent research by the University of Birmingham has confirmed the valuable role that activity monitoring technology can play in determining the most appropriate care for those with learning disabilities.

The research, which involved nine local authorities and 33 care providers in England, tested the use of Just Checking activity monitoring equipment to summarise how a person naturally behaves in their home, combined with advice about person-centred care planning.   

Just Checking uses small wireless sensors placed around an individual’s home to build an objective picture of their daily living routine, without the use of cameras or microphones. It supports the principle of safeguarding against deprivation of liberty and complies with the Mental Capacity Act.

Independence day for Jon and Sharon thanks to Highdowns

Jon Barnes

Two friends from Cornwall are celebrating leaving residential care to live in the community.

Jon Barnes and Sharon Murley both left Highdowns near Camborne – where they have lived for nine years and 10 years respectively – to move to a village near Redruth.

The pair now live at Meadow View, a new supported living service run by care provider Regard, and are already active members of the local community.

Jon, 32, and Sharon, 38, who both have Asperger’s, were supported to take their first steps towards independence by the care team at Highdowns.

Initially, the friends lived in the main house at Highdowns, which is also run by Regard, before eventually moving into self-contained cottages in the grounds of the 10 acre farm.

Mapping for Change’s ‘Ramp It Up!’ Competition

Ramp It Up

Running a social media contest to improve accessibility in our towns and cities

The London based social enterprise Mapping for Change is encouraging local businesses to improve access to their premises with a competition to win one of ten wheelchair ramps. Those one or two steps at the entrances of buildings should not be a barrier to those with limited mobility. Nor should they stop business owners from accessing an estimated £200bn of spending power from people in the UK with disabilities. A wheelchair ramp is a simple way to counter those steps, even on listed buildings or rented premises as it is completely portable.

Paralysed builder walks again thanks to pioneering technology

Gheorghe can now go for strolls around the local park

A paralysed man who was told he would never walk again has taken his first steps, thanks to a life-changing exoskeleton suit.  

Gheorghe Duncan, from Bromley, was left paralysed from the waist-down after he fell nine metres while working in 2011. 

The 42-year-old, who was working as a labourer at the time of his accident, was told he would spend his life in a wheelchair, but is now able to go for a stroll around his local park, thanks to a pioneering piece of technology. 

Considered Construction Boosts Business

Woman in wheelchair

An experienced architect, city planner or builder will already be aware of the Equality Act(2010) and its predecessor the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) in regard to ensuring disabled access to public buildings, offices or new-build homes.

Being sympathetic to a wide range of disabilities and individual needs can be challenging for any business, but it’s imperative that companies think more inclusively when they’re developing their premises.

Government faces backlash over plans to change PIPs criteria

Government announces changes to PIP payments

Changes to disability benefits have been criticised with claims that 160,000 people could lose out on much-needed payments. 

The government has announced plans to make amendments to the Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) following two legal judgements, which called for more points to be given to people suffering from psychological difficulties. 

Penny Mordaunt, minister of state for disabled people, health and work, made the announcement last week saying the amendments were necessary to bring the system back to its original purpose: to ensure the support is given to the people who need it more. 

Ambitious Charity Unveils Progress of Innovative New Housing


THE CONSTRUCTION of six pioneering homes set to transform the lives of those with disabilities is well underway in Dundee.

Designed and created by Blackwood, one of Scotland’s leading housing and care providers, the hugely innovative houses will set a new standard of accessibility by combining technology, modern construction and engagement to meet customers’ changing needs.

Since it built its first home in Dundee in 1972, Blackwood has endeavored to be a pioneer in accessible housing. Today, the Blackwood vision is to be able to offer beautiful, accessible and affordable homes.

Measuring success by growing independence

Rebecca receives her certificate from the Mayor of Croydon

For Joseph Osoba and his team at a supported living service in Penge, South East London, while it tugs at the heart-strings to say ‘goodbye’ to the individuals they support when they move out and start living independently, it is also a time for celebration.

“They all have learning disabilities and associated mental health issues, and they come to us for support in learning the skills that will enable them to live on their own, so when they’re ready to move on, it means we’ve done our job,’ Joseph said, “but it’s always hard to see them go.”

The latest success story from Joseph’s service, Crystal House, is 24-year-old Harrison, who lived with them for just over a year.

Campaign launches to develop deeper understanding of attitudes towards home adaptations

 home adaptations

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes.

It is hoped insight drawn from the work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.

The campaign, launched on Crowdfunder – – has been set up by Foundations, the national body for England’s 200 not-for-profit home improvement agencies.