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bigissue

Fear of losing benefits stops disabled and sick being proactive about health?

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The other day a news item caught my attention it was talking about how most sports clubs 9 out of 10 saw no increase at all in the number of disabled people joining or taking up sport in the aftermath of the paraolympics. It was hoped that the legacy of the games would be that lots of people especially those sick and disabled would be inspired to take up sport but it hasn't happened at least not for the disabled group and people are baffled as to why.

 

I wonder if it is not down to the fact that for many people on benefits either DLA or ESA etc are too scared to do anything like join a sports club due to the potential impact that would have on your benefits. I've read on several forums the stories of people who spoke in their WCA about the progress they were making and hoped to make in future and the steps they were taking to improve their situation e.g. therapy, dietry changes, volunteering and exercise only to find that by admiting as much they were promptly found fit for work or not needing support. This meant that these people often had to stop everything they were doing to help themselves and that was followed by a relapse in their bad health.

 

I myself am worried about making use of my local gym even though exercise and weight loss would have a positive impact on my health because I worry about being branded a benefit cheat or about having my ESA removed at a time when my recovery is still fragile and intermittant.

 

I am sure I am not alone in this feeling and as long as they contiue to victimise the sick and disabled they cannot expect to have a lasting positive outcome from the olympics.

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The only reasons I wouldn't use a gym are a) cost, if you have to exist on benefits you just can't afford it. And b) risk of infection.

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The only reasons I wouldn't use a gym are a) cost, if you have to exist on benefits you just can't afford it. And b) risk of infection.

 

Yes I understand, risk of infection is of course an issue for many. I am lucky in that the local council gym and pool is very, very cheap for those on benefits. My specialist has said that low impact exercise would be useful for my condition as well as losing some weight but stupidly perhaps I do worry that going to the gym would see me promptly kicked off esa. If I lost the extra money I get with ESA I could afford even the cheap gym facilities the local authority offers not to mention the potential impact of any conditionality on my prognosis.

 

That is only my experiance but I think it is posible that many other ESA & DLA claiments have the same concerns.

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I agree it may be a concern but, to be honest, where a specialist says you should do so then it should not impact on either ESA or DLA. My case is not dissimilar in that exercise is medically recommended. If I were in a position to do so and questions were raised then I have plenty of NHS / GP evidence to support my actions.

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Sorry am i being thick but what risk of infection? Is it any greater than being out say shopping.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Sorry am i being thick but what risk of infection? Is it any greater than being out say shopping.

 

Some people don't wipe down the equipment they've finished using. Disgusting if you ask me.

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So a bit of sweat. Wipe it down yourself. What do you think you will catch?


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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So a bit of sweat. Wipe it down yourself. What do you think you will catch?

 

moulds, fungii, and certain bacteria and viruses that thrive in warm moist environments can be devastating to people with certain conditions - for instance lung problems, or immune deficiency. Gyms are breeding grounds for these things.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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estellyn sums it up nicely, fletch. Having a chronic lung disease dictates that you have to be very careful and very aware of the risk of infection. Gyms are, conversely, a good place to get ill. Shopping and crowds have their own problems. I easily develop chest infections from the slightest contact with someone who has a cold or what have you. Sometimes even a series of chest infections. Then it becomes a battle to keep me out of hospital. Which is worse then the gym ... :D

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That was kind of my point. Yes i fully appreciate that people with certain illnesses have to take extra special care, however this was not explained in the op. So in my blunt lets mix it up way i was asking what the problems were.

To be honest part of me was expecting stupidity rather than the thought out coherent responses i got.

There will of course be precautions you can take hopefully. Also,and i do not demeanor anyone,but the people who suffer this are in a minority.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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That was kind of my point. Yes i fully appreciate that people with certain illnesses have to take extra special care, however this was not explained in the op. So in my blunt lets mix it up way i was asking what the problems were.

To be honest part of me was expecting stupidity rather than the thought out coherent responses i got.

There will of course be precautions you can take hopefully. Also,and i do not demeanor anyone,but the people who suffer this are in a minority.

 

fletch I'm not sure what point you're trying to make? are you saying sick and disabled people should have to go to the gym or should not fear going to the gym?

 

There are issues other than infection to consider with exercise. I would dearly love to go swimming, but even if I had the energy, I cannot physically get from the car park to the pool, and certainly couldn't get out of the pool. Other people would have other limitations. But the OP was about fear of trying to get better, in case benefits are prematurely affected, and this is a valid fear if you know anything about ATOS assessments.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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My vote is for the 'you shouldn't fear going to the gym' camp provided that this is how the medical experts feel is the best way to manage your condition, not necessarily get better as that isn't always a possible objective. And, as you say estellyn, also providing it's physically possible.

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Bigissue, I think there is some truth in what you say. More so with voluntary work unfortunately. I think cost though can be more prohibitive, so the two issues together go against it.

 

I go to the disability swim sessions at my local pool. It costs me £1.75 and I take a carer in with me free. Another person there enters and exits the pool via hoist which is actually a chair. In fact the lifeguards can't do enough to help. I like these sessions as the pool is quieter and not crowded, although mixing all people with whatever disability can be annoying at times. People with moderate to severe learning difficulties don't understand the concept of people swimming lengths and just swim all over the place meaning you can't swim lengths without significant excursions on the way!

 

I can't use the gym myself due to spinal deformities, well I could walk on a treadmill but find it nicer to walk elsewhere.

 

Is it ok not to mention you go to a gym though at any assessment?

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My point was that gym or some exercise done with medical supervision is probably worth it for many. Of course it all depends on your illness or disability. I would hardly say that someone with serious heart disease should be on the treadmill or serious lung disease for that matter. Equally people who have had some major surgeries or maybe my sister in law who has parkinsons.

However there is a move to become almost phobic about catching illnesses. There was a time not so long ago that people thought you could contract HIV by normal social contact. Thank god that kind of thinking has been put to bed.


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Is it ok not to mention you go to a gymlink3.gif though at any assessment?

 

I wouldn't mention it personally. I am looking into going to the gym. Partly because of an ongoing hip problem - sitting makes it worse and I need to keep moving.

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