Caught in a trap: why the disabled can’t leave their care homes

From my Society Guardian feature this morning:
Anna McNaughton fell in love with the West Sussex seaside town of Worthing when she moved there two years ago. It’s a stone’s throw from Brighton, around an hour by train from London, and its bars, cafes and restaurants are edged by a tree-lined promenade. Having had a room in a shared house since moving, the 23-year-old wants her own space.

Some interesting comments posted about this article by Guardian readers are here.

4 thoughts on “Caught in a trap: why the disabled can’t leave their care homes”

  1. This whole system sounds like such a mess. A huge paradox of regulations from a time when disabled people were essentially hidden away, coupled with a new regulations from a society which is moving forwards in terms of acceptance and positivity. Particularly frightening in the current climate of cuts.

  2. Thanks for your comment Bob, the situation is indeed an utter nonsense and, as you point out, given the impending cuts, is only likely to affect more people. Problem is that no one is willing to unpick the mess – least of all because the solution of more centralised funding would go against the localism agenda that the coalition championing. Very small society.

  3. It is so refreshing to read an honest account of the dilemma of so many people with learning disabilities and their family carers trying to get top class lifelong lilving.

    My daughter Isabel, 23, with Downs, was delighted to read your piece in Society Guardian this Wednesday, because she had been very worried that her best friend Harriet Kissock-Jones, her college mate from the Mount Camphill in E Sussex, was not going to be able to join her community and thus continue their friendship.

    Isabel wants me to take her dictated message to you and Guardian readers:
    “Harriet is very happy in the Grange, she is more settled. She fought very hard in the beginning to hide her sadness about missing the Mount. But now she is more happy in the Grange Community and she feels more welcome in the Grange Village. She has a boyfriend named Ashley, who works with me in the gardens in the afternoons, and he helped her to settle in and make her happy. I helped her to settle in and have been calling her on the phone all summer to get her to come. If Harriet is feeling sad she will always come to me and I welcomed her to the Grange. When I first came in August I was quite nervous. Marina Pearson helped me quite a lot, along with Judy and Ian Bailey.

    Community is a very good place to live, because you are supported by other people and never feel lonely.
    All the community members are very special. Camphill is very special. It is really good for Downs Syndrome,
    this adult community in the Grange, because you have to work and there is more socialising with other residents. Harriet was really welcomed to our community. There are really special moments for her.
    We go to the pub together sometimes with other friends in Littledean .
    Isabel Bennett-Henman

  4. Anita and Isabel, thanks for taking the time to comment – Isabel it sounds like you’re having a ball at The Grange! Anita, the “top class lifelong living” that you describe is something that I hope Isabel and Harriet have now achieved, as far as anything is certain and permanent in the current climate. Today’s CSR shows where the disabled and vulnerable remain as far as priorities go – at the bottom of the list. If people are already trapped in residential care, they’ll be even more restricted once the changes to the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for those in residential care kick in. Hearing about the success of young people like Isabel proves how the right support can help everyone fulfill their potential.

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