The increase cost in energy prices and the general cost of living is driving many families to debt.
Charities warn disabled people are twice as likely to struggle to heat their homes and will continue to bear the brunt of the cost of living crisis if they are not supported.
14 million disabled people in the UK face either for extra washing, electric wheelchair charging, powering oxygen machines and sensory mats to alert parents of night-time seizures – the list of constant power use is ever-growing.
Currently, around 20% of adults in the UK are living with a disability. Scope UK found that only 53% of disabled people are in employment, compared with 82% of non-disabled people. Disabled people are 3 times as likely to be economically inactive – not working or seeking employment.
Living costs are typically more expensive for people with disabilities. They may have to spend more on transport, dietary requirements, accessibility equipment, therapy or heating.
Millions of disabled people are already experiencing huge pressures in getting by, which are only set to worsen as winter approaches.
It isn’t just disabled people themselves who are facing the immense pressures of the cost of living crisis, as their families are often affected too.
Food and energy this year have put 72 percent of families with a disabled child or adult into debt.
Four in 10 will go without food to save money, with 77 percent saying the pressure is affecting their mental health.
Whether it’s a physical disability or a life-long mental disability the impact will be the same. Our government have a duty to product the most vulnerable in society.
So far the government have pledged a paltry £150 payment in September for those claiming Disability Living allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
Disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unable to heat their home (23 per cent of disabled people versus 10 percent of non-disabled people) and three times as likely to not have been able to afford food (10 percent disabled people versus 3 percent of non-disabled people)
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 42 percent of disabled adults are spending less on food and other essentials, compared with 31 per cent of non-disabled people, because of the rise in the cost-of-living.
They also show that half of disabled people (48 percent) said they bought less food in the last fortnight, against 38 percent of non-disabled people.
And of those who pay energy bills, 13 per cent of disabled people said it was already “very difficult” to pay those bills, and another 38 per cent said it was “somewhat difficult”, compared with six percent and 29 percent of non-disabled bill-payers.
Smoking is one of the most dangerous things you can choose to do, and it affects people from all walks of life. Although you might not expect it, adults with disabilities are particularly likely to smoke. Understanding why that is and finding out what we can do to help is essential to creating a smoke-free society.
Individuals with an intellectual disability experience poorer health than those in the general population with delays in access to diagnosis, investigations and treatment. Consequently, people with an intellectual disability who smoke are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental impact of smoking on their health, and on their financial and social wellbeing.
More resources and emphasis needs to be put into helping these people quit smoking as research suggests these people will find it hardest to quit.
Epidemiological studies in the general population suggest rates of smoking are higher in particular groups, including: people with routine or manual backgrounds compared to those in managerial or professional roles, unemployed people, homeless people, people with no qualifications and prisoners.
Smoking is especially common in people with mental health difficulties. Around 33% of people with mental health difficulties, such as schizophrenia and approximately 70% of patients in psychiatric inpatient units, smoke. People with a mental health difficulty die 10-20 years earlier, on average, than people in the general population, and smoking is the single biggest factor contributing to this difference. Furthermore, smoking exacerbates poverty and social stigma of people with a mental health difficulty.
People who fall into this category will find quitting smoking more difficult if not impossible.
This is not the case anymore thanks to the increasing success rates of switching smoking to using disposable vapes/e-cigarettes. It’s not just nicotine they crave but the actual act of smoking a cigarette. Switching to e-cigarettes makes the transition easier and replicates everything a cigarette does without all the harmful contents of a cigarette including; Hydrogen cyanide, Formaldehyde, Lead, Arsenic, Ammonia and Carbon monoxide to name a few.
The benefits couldn’t be clearer, as NHS England state vaping/e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful there still remains a stigma around vaping.
If you take any psychotropic medication including antipsychotics, mood stabilisers or antidepressants it’s important to tell your psychiatrist, GP or Health professional about you intentions to quit as this can alter effect of your medication and need to be closely monitored but don’t let this put you off trying to quit.
The message is clear that there has never been a greater incentive to quit smoking, with people falling into absolute poverty and the sooner you quit, the sooner you will see improvements physically and financially.
Smoking is believed to be more prevalent among people with depression and schizophrenia because nicotine may temporarily lessen the symptoms of these illnesses, such as poor concentration, low mood, and stress. But it is important to note that smoking cessation has been linked with improved mental health—including reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, and enhanced mood and quality of life.
This is why switching from tobacco related products to vaping may be the safest and easiest alternative.
If you can quit without any smoking cessation aids it’s even better but remember to consult a professional first.