“We can’t go back 30-odd years” – watch Sophie talking about the Independent Living Fund and her fears for the future in this powerful film by Kate Belgrave.
When I think about the ILF closing in 2015, I know that I only have two years left to live. I may exist for a little longer, but I can’t see how I will be able to maintain any quality of life, without the funding to live independently.
Despite having multiple disabilities, I am in quite good health; but I know that this will change if the ILF is closed. I am sure that I would have to use agency staff, and I know from experience that they are so badly equipped to help manage medical conditions, that their clients are frequently admitted to hospital. I am diabetic, and the only way for me to properly manage my diabetes is with an insulin pump. This requires very frequent blood testing, and specialist training to use, which is not a problem with my direct employees at the moment, but would be impossible with agency staff. I would have to change to another, inadequate, system for attempting to manage my diabetes, as I would be limited to a couple of visits a day from the district nurse to attempt to control my diabetes. This regime will not control it, and so I can look forward to a future where I spend a lot of time in hospital. Until they decide that it would save everyone money if I were in residential care.
I am usually a sickeningly optimistic person, who can’t help seeing the silver lining to any cloud; but this time I don’t see anything positive in what the government want to do. If they have the capacity for shame, then they ought to feel it and the inhumanity of their proposal.