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New report underlines the crucial role that social care plays in supporting disabled people

With 2012 set to be a testing year for social care, a national disability charity is putting together a vital report which will look at the views of disabled people and their families on why access to good support is so important to them.

By using firsthand accounts, Life Support, a report put together by United Response’s Campaigns Panel, brings together a human element to the current discussion on social care funding by emphasising the impact that social care has on the everyday lives of people with learning difficulties.

In the report people backed by United Response provide their views on what good support looks like, how support could be improved for disabled people, and the key areas in which they are concerned about for the future such as hate crime and lack of support for those with lower support needs. One member of the campaigns panel declared: “Having the right support has allowed me to do so many new things. But there are lots of people who don’t get help. I want everyone to get the right kind of support for them.”

Family members also helped to formulate the report and provide their views on the current social care structure and how it impacts on the lives of their family members. As one parent shares their personal experience, “…the support that my son receives makes the difference between just a daily ‘existence’ and instead grants him the opportunity to participate in his own wholly fulfilling and useful life.”

The report also contains a detailed overview of the support over the last 40 years, followed by an afterword on the report provided by leading social care expert and author of An Ordinary Life, David Towell.

Commenting on Life Support, Su Sayer, Chief Executive of United Response, said:

“Over the last 40 years, we have seen remarkable changes in the life experiences of disabled people. Thanks to the progress that has been made in health and social care, people are living longer and more independent lives, but that also means that the demand for social care is growing daily. This year, parties across the political spectrum will be faced with the unenviable, yet vital, task of rebuilding a social care system which is buckling under the weight of increased demand and limited resources.

“The Life Support report shows just how crucial social care is to people’s daily lives. For some people it means being able to complete basic but essential; tasks, such as washing, cooking, shopping and living with dignity. For others it means being able to develop independence and contribute meaningfully to society through employment or volunteering.

“What is clear is that without this vital support many people would simply be trapped in their homes struggling with loneliness and deteriorating physical and mental health. With a White Paper on social care expected in the spring, 2012 presents us with an opportunity to reform our social care system and make it work not only for those that rely on it now, but for the…

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