For many across Britain, it can be a struggle to do what others take for granted. These people often rely on others to support them in everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning and getting themselves ready in the morning. Some of this support is provided by care providers, but for some, this is expensive and goes little beyond what is essential.
Many of those with a disability face loneliness. A report by Sense found that 23% of those with a disability were lonely on a daily basis. This rose to 38% for young disabled people aged between 18 and 34.
So, what is the solution?
Peer support is the support that other disabled people can give each other to cope. This can be in the form of meet-ups or online support via forums, chat rooms or other websites such as Dancing Giraffe CIC.
With technology, the channels available for peer support are endless. People can connect with others with the same problem, from opposite sides of the country or even the world.
This can have many benefits including:
With loneliness being one of the major concerns for those with disabilities, having people to communicate with can help alleviate this problem, which in turn can help improve someone’s outlook on life and their ability to partake in other activities.
Research has shown that peer support can have a significant impact on health in many ways. For instance, it decreases mental health issues such as depression, improves quality of life and increases life expectancy.
If someone has the support of others, then they can feel more valued and positive towards their life. This can help them to seek ways to achieve their goals and objectives on a daily or weekly basis, and can further improve their self-esteem.
Peer support is an essential part of the support network that someone with a disability should have. It helps them improve their lives and gives them support others just can’t give. With today’s technological options, peer support should be easier than ever – but sometimes it is not.
Have you used peer support before? How did you find your support?
Let us know in the comments below.