Disabled service in Sheffield hailed for 'restoring dignity'

David Statham said the loan of a min-lift had enabled him to use his sofa for the first time in four years
David Statham said the loan of a min-lift had enabled him to use his sofa for the first time in four years
0
Have your say

More disabled people in Sheffield are set to benefit from a service praised by those who have used it for restoring their dignity.

They will get free hire of specialist equipment designed to increase their independence, plus advice on the latest moving and handling techniques.

A handful of people have already received support as part of a pilot scheme launched last year for those living at home who need carers to help with tasks most people take for granted, such as going to the toilet and getting into bed.

Sheffield Council is now expanding the initiative, doubling the number of occupational therapists to four, as it seeks to help at least 120 people this year.

David Statham, who has lived with a neuro-muscle wasting condition for the last decade, was among the first to benefit.

The 57-year-old was loaned a mini-lift which enables him to transfer from his wheelchair to the toilet by himself and to use his sofa for the first time in four years.

"If you start having your dignity taken away bit by bit, anything which can restore it to whatever degree, especially to a large degree like this lift does, is only a good thing," he said...

"It's quite liberating, being able to sit in your own house more comfortably and not be at the mercy of your wheelchair all the time. We're very thankful for this service."

The specialist equipment lending service is typically aimed at people who are unable to walk across a room or get themselves to the toilet, and who are often in a wheelchair or confined to bed.

Social workers and carers are now referring people to the council's equipment and adaptation service.

Councillor Cate McDonald, Sheffield Council's cabinet member for health and social care, said: "It's great to hear from people like David who are now able to do more. Another man we’ve helped used to need two carers to put him to bed. He's now able to do this himself and has talked about the freedom of being able to choose when he goes to bed – something most of us take for granted.

"I'm very pleased to have introduced the service on a permanent basis after the successful trial."