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Disability Doesn’t Discriminate

July 11, 20234 min read

Disability is something that affects everyone - whether it's you, a family member, a neighbour, a friend, a co-worker, or maybe even a stranger you pass on the street. Be it physical or mental, disability is recognised everywhere. Our resident blogger Cameron takes a look at acquired disability as an adult.

80% of disabilities are acquired in adult life

Although there are many types of disabilities, if asked to name the first few that come to mind, it’s likely you come up with something that people are born with - autism, blind, deaf etc… It may be hard to believe, but out of the roughly 11 million disabled people in the UK, over 80% of that group acquired their disability in later life. Be it through an accident, lifestyle, or natural causes, many of the people you know, maybe even yourself, will develop a disability sometime in their life.

According to research, arthritis is the most common acquired disability. Arthritis causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness in a joint, which worsens as you age. Even if you don’t develop arthritis, mobility and stamina steadily deteriorates with age, making anything physical much harder than it was before.

Dementia is an umbrella term referring to a group of symptoms that are typically associated with getting older, resulting in memory loss, thinking, and social abilities. However, dementia can affect people of all ages, though it is much rarer in those below the age of 65.

Poor fitness and health canlead to a higher chance of Good physical fitness and health can of course lower your chances of acquiring a disability, but there will always be that chance. Disability does not discriminate, and everyone will be affected by it at some point in their life. 

Support for independent living

All of that was absolutely daunting, fact-heavy information, and while it will seem like a lot, there will always be support out there to provide you assistance. There are many organisations, motivational talkers, and people out there who would be willing to help if life is becoming a struggle due to an acquired disability.

Residential communities, such as Stoke Gifford Retirement Village, are designed specifically with these disabilities in mind, and cater directly to those who may require that helping hand. With the multitude of other residents who will have gone through similar experiences, will understand what you’re going through and will be able to offer advice as well as potential companionship.

If this idea of togetherness appeals to you, or you quite simply want to learn more, then consider showing up to This is Me, a group founded by Pete Chapman, military veteran and resident of Stoke Gifford Retirement Village in South Gloucestershire.

This is me, a new talking group in South Glos

This is Me was set up to enable people to discuss disability and to share experiences and stories from their lives, forming a close-knit community revolving around positivity and supporting others with disabilities - physical and hidden.

If you’d like a taster, on the 13th July 2023, inspirational speaker and disability advocate Dan Biddle, will talk about his experience in becoming disabled as a survivor of London’s 7/7 bombings in 2005.

At the age of 26, Dan worked as a project manager in construction, he was euphoric when he heard the news that London would be hosting the 2012 Olympics. However, Dan had no idea what was about to happen in moments.

As a result of the explosion, Dan lost both legs, an eye, his spleen, and suffered many other life-threatening injuries, making him the worst injured survivor of the 7/7 terror attacks.

Despite this, Dan constantly demonstrates that even with horrendous circumstances, disability does not mean the end. He states “It does not mean that you have to say goodbye to your hopes, dreams and aspirations!”

Dan inspires admiration and respect in his audience for all that he has gone through and will continue to achieve, proving that acquiring a disability does not mean it is the end.

If all of this seems scary, it’s completely okay to feel that way. It’s justified. But just remember that if you acquire a disability in later life that does NOT make you any less of a valued member of society. You are and will always be appreciated no matter who you are.

Join us on July 13th 2023 at 5:30pm to meet Dan along with Pete Chapman, the founder of This Is Me. Free tickets are available from Eventbrite: This is Me - Disability Doesn't Discriminate

Cameron Dicker

Resident blogger at Inclusive change at work CIC

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