Without a Personal Assistant my quality of life would be greatly diminished. I suffer from clinical depression, and become very lethargic and inclined to withdraw into myself and miss meals, if alone for long periods and unable to get out. My deaf blindness makes me feel very isolated and I am unable to deal with paperwork mail and form filling without assistance.
Having a PA helps me to access local services such as Doctor’s, Dentists and hospital appointments, also to the bank and library. It enables me to take exercise like swimming; or shopping for food, and clothes as one needs to be told what is there in order to make choices. I need someone to guide me to a place: to get drinks and find toilets: to interpret what is being said in noisy environments or if people have accents.
I need assistance to make phone calls because of dexterity problems as well as not being able to hear.
I want to participate in meetings, and also be enabled to socialize with friends or other groups
I have little useful sight which is blurred, so it is not safe to go out alone to avoid hazards which I don’t see, both inside and out and to prevent falling, because my balance is poor, so I use an assisted wheelchair and sometimes a walking stick with support from my PA.
My PA also assists with meal, personal care and domestic chores, with choosing clothes which match and saying if they are stained.
It is important to me to gain knowledge which involves reading study material and visiting places of interest; the theatre or cinema. I feel it is important to stimulate my brain, as my short-term memory sometimes lets me down and I can’t remember where things are and occasionally need reminding of things I need to do.
This overview is by no means exhaustive, but shows the importance of PA’s in all aspects of my life. I have suffered from mental illness and dread slipping into that downward spiral of self neglect and deeper depression.
Please allow me to keep my PA’s and lead a more balanced and fulfilled life than would be possible without their support. In order to have this I need financial assistance, which has been possible through the ILF. Those who administer the service have an understanding of the needs of participants whereas other agencies may not.
Also with the government cut backs, there is no guarantee that necessary funding will be available from Local Authorities.