By Sue Bott
Don’t you just love the new Get Yourself Active website? What could be better than a walk, run, roll in the park especially in the spring when the sun is out and the birds are singing?
For me doing something active has always been the answer to any upset I have experienced or argument I have had. Even as a child if I got told off I’d stomp off and go for a walk.
Doing something physically active in whatever way, however small just makes such a difference to your sense of wellbeing. It amazes me that the health and social care worlds just don’t recognise what a difference a bit of exercise makes.
I’m not saying it is the cure all but shouldn’t disabled people and people with long-term health conditions be given a chance to rely less on medication, to have the chance to be mobile in the swimming pool, to pull weights in the gym?
The problem is that the worlds of sport and leisure, health, and social care don’t talk to each other let alone join up but they need to if people are going to have a good quality of life. The result is that millions of pounds are wasted on solutions that simply don’t work for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. One of my friends has rheumatoid arthritis. On holiday in Holland, she hired a motorised tricycle. It did wonders for her mobility. When she next saw her consultant she asked if she could have a personal health budget to get a tricycle to reduce her reliance on medication. As it happens the consultant was very supportive and thought it a good idea but said she had no idea how she would get through the bureaucracy to make it happen.
Personal budgets give people an opportunity to decide what works best for them within the resources available. If that includes a chance of sport or exercise why not? Isn’t it up to us, the disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, to decide what our priorities are and what works best for us? So come on any health and social care professions reading this. Don’t put obstacles in our way let us improve our wellbeing.
And woe betide anybody who stops me taking a walk in the park. I will become very depressed, very grumpy and I won’t be responsible for my actions. So there!