My DLA money helps me in many different ways. I suffer from both physical illness and mental illness, which makes these things even more important (fibromyalgia, arthritis of neck and lumbar spine, chronic pain, bipolar disorder). The different conditions often trigger the symptoms of each other. Below are a few of the ways DLA helps me.
Care: it enables me to pay for help twice a week with changing, showering and dressing at the local sport centre when I attend disabled swimming lessons. Without this help I get stuck in my clothing and fall over a lot. It also helps when my husband is away as he is my main carer. Enables me to be able to pay for private counselling as I have reached the limit I’m aloud on the NHS. This helps me keep anxiety in check and helps me regulate manicness. It helps buy microwave ready meals for when my husband is away, or is working at mealtimes, so that I can still eat; these are expensive as I have to eat ‘free-from’ wheat and dairy-free foods.
Equipment: it helped me be able to buy my walker, wheelchair and mobility scooter. None of which are cheap. All of this equipment allows me to be more independent and covers all areas that I need help with my mobility. Wetsuit and other thermal clothing to wear to keep me warm when in the pool, to prevent muscle spasms and increased pain.
Exercise: it enables me to pay for disabled swimming lesson and hydrotherapy classes, both of which are vital to keep me at a basic functioning physical level. I also gain a lot socially from this as our group has many different disabilities, we are all able to understand what each other is going through and have developed a supportive bond as we see each other twice a week.