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Supporting adults with learning disabilities adapt to lockdown

Recent findings from the Office for National Statistics, which highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of people with a disability found that almost half (45%) of disabled adults said they are very worried about the effect that COVID-19 is having on their life compared with around a third (30%) of non-disabled adults, and nearly two-thirds (65%) reported concerns around COVID-19 affecting their wellbeing.

Adults with a learning disability already face extreme levels of social isolation and the coronavirus crisis is making this worse. In addition, they feel more anxious when things change quickly and the normal pattern of life is disrupted.

The closure of day services, loss of routine, difficulties staying in touch with family and keeping active all have a negative impact on the wellbeing and health of people with disabilities.

At Field Lane we are trying hard to fill this gap. It has been difficult for our clients to get used to the new regime. Our priority is to keep them safe and well, not just in terms of health but also their general wellbeing.

Anticipating the government’s announcement about measures it was planning to implement to combat the spread of the coronavirus, we stopped all trips and family visits just before the national lockdown was announced. Since then, our teams of project staff have been working extremely hard in very challenging circumstances to create a sense of normality within the projects – holding pampering days in the living room, cultivating vegetable patches in the back garden, doing arts & craft on the kitchen table.

Involving clients in a wide range of home-based activities and discussions about how they are feeling, has been crucial in helping them manage to adapt to the lockdown and still find ways to enjoy themselves.

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