Tag Archives: Learning difficulties

Carers willing to share family home asked to come forward

Julie Armstrong /

Shared Lives carer Myrna, on right, who shares her home with Mary

MORE carers are needed to support adults with learning disabilities within the family home.

Twelve adults in the Ealing borough with mild to moderate learning difficulties are currently benefiting from at-home placements as part of the Ealing Shared Lives scheme.

Half live with families full-time as an alternative to living in a care home, while the rest use the scheme for overnight or short term respite care or support in the community.

The philosophy behind Shared Lives is that the cared-for person becomes part of the family.

Jo Whiley shows her support for Learning Disability Week

Mencap ambassador shares her story about why family carers need greater support

Jo Whiley, the TV and radio broadcaster and Mencap ambassador, is asking supporters to contact their local MP so that support for people with a learning disability and their families and carers continues to stay high up the political agenda.

You can support our Learning Disability Week e-action and send a message to your local MP here.

The basic rights of people with a learning disability are threatened by welfare cuts

‘I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society’ … Brian Rix, president of the Royal Mencap society. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Campaigners fought for more than 60 years so people with a learning disability can make their own choices in life and be part of mainstream society. However, I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society.

I have seen great strides since the 1950s, when I was advised to “put away and forget” my late daughter, Shelley, who had Down’s syndrome. However, expected £12bn cuts to social security, combined with huge reductions in funding for local government, and therefore social care, are causing fear and anxiety among the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, and their families.

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