The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis have changed Daniel Hoare’s life beyond recognition.
Itâ€™s five years since he first experienced the signs of the disease. In that time, the illness has halted his career as a restaurant and bar manager and called time on his active social life.
Daniel says: “It was almost as if one day I was fine and the next I started falling over and having spasms.
“Early on my loss of mobility saw me signed off work permanently on medical grounds.
“At times I have really battled with depression but there has been some remarkable support there for me to help me get through the worst.”
Danielâ€™s main support is his partner Tony.
“Tony is there for me day and night,” he says.
“Until we knew what illness or condition I had we just had to muddle through.
“I wasn’t able to get out on my own, and when Tony was away I had to rely on friends and neighbours to help.”
With Daniel’s diagnosis came external support and the opportunity to design and control his own care.
Daniel now receives the full Disability Living Allowance and, following a social services needs assessment, he also gets a direct payment for five hours of care and support a week from his local council.
Daniel says: “That one day a week where I get assistance is a lifeline because it gives Tony a rest.
“I also go out once a week with the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust (Hannah’s for short).
“It’s a charity supporting people with disabilities.
“Before I started going there I was so depressed and isolated.
“Now I get to socialise and also have a hydrotherapy session and do archery.”
From April, the new Care Act will ensure people receiving care and support will be informed how much money is spent on their care and will have more control over how that money is spent.
Whatever people’s level of need, be it physical, mental or emotional, they will be put in touch with the right organisation to support their wellbeing.
Care and Support and You
To find out more about the changes to care and support in England and how people might benefit, they should visitÂ www.gov.uk/careandsupport.
People can also speak to their council for more information and to get advice about their circumstances.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45