Hello again!! Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while but have been busy with volunteering and the new group which I attend in my local town. At the minute we are preparing a newsletter to promote the group for which I have written an article for and other bits and pieces.
Anyway as June is upon us, it has been well advertised that the Olympics are nearly among us, in fact today marks 56 days until the Opening Ceremony. An event which has been said is going to benefit London as a whole. However how accurate is this particular statement? Especially for those with disabilities and the house-bound living near the Olympic Stadium and the other venues that will host events during the games.
During the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games many services tailored for the disabled community will cease during the three months that the games will take place. For those disabled people, plus not forgetting the elderly population it means that the ‘Meals on Wheels’ service, that is vital for so many, particularly those living on their own or for whatever reason are unable to cook for themselves, will not be able to deliver the service due to many roads closures that will take place during the Summer.
In addition, many of the supermarkets surrounding East London have also notified many customers that they will unable to deliver their groceries during build-up to and during the games. This will obviously have an adverse impact on those disabled people, who may live alone and rely heavily on the convenience of internet shopping and will need to seek alternative arrangements. Also, for many disabled or elderly people, it can be a real struggle to get out of the house, take for example, myself I am dependent on my father to take me to doctors’ and hospital appointments and other places where I may need to go – however, if my father is unable to take me because he is unavailable, then I rely solely on taxi’s to get me to wherever I need to go. However, for those living close to the Olympic Stadium, and other areas, this foe them will no longer be an option due to security road closures.
So, for many elderly and disabled people these 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games will leave them prisoner in their homes, isolated and alone, a stark contrast to the vibrant and exciting party atmosphere that it will create for the London community. And it is not just the inconvenience it will create for the elderly and disabled, having meals-on-wheels delivered as well as supermarket deliveries, not alone provide people with the necessities that is needed to live but also provides the ability for social interaction, without that many people would be alone without having anyone to talk too.
It may also mean that the disabled and elderly will be unable to make medical appointments, which for may are necessary to stay on track with medical conditions, and without could mean the difference between life and death. Other services which could also be affected during the Olympic Games for many disabled and elderly residents are services such as:
- Personal Assistants, Carers or Social Workers unable to visit due to road closures or lack of parking due to the high number of visitors in London
- Lunch Clubs and other Community Centres
- Friends and family being able to visit
- Benefits Service
And the list goes on and on!! I am personally not affected by these changes, as I do not live in London but as a disabled person myself I can empathise with the plight of so many that will be affected by the problems that the Olympics will have on many services and businesses that are relied upon by the elderly or disabled. It is just a shame that these people have been forgotten about during the man reports and stories that have emerged on the news and other programmes about the London 2012 Olympic Games.
It is said that will rejuvenate and reinvent many parts of London and will benefit London as a whole but the real question is: ‘Will it really benefit all Londoners, or just a select few’?
And that will the impact be for the elderly and disabled living in London?
A person on Facebook has set up a page entitled ‘London 2012 Should NOT Mean Vulnerable People Suffer which you can also visit for more information and a link to a petition urging the government to take urgent action to prevent individuals with mobility problems suffering and being imprisoned in their homes during the Olympics. You can visit the page here