A Wrexham mum who cares for her disabled son is worried about going into debt as the cost of living continues to increase.

Jane Plant cares for her 21-year-old son Gethin who is deafblind.

The family has had to previously borrow money from family to pay for bills and is worried about going into debt. 

This comes as findings by the national disability charity Sense show that one in two (55%) disabled households in Wales have been pushed into debt due to rising costs, and 41% now skip meals to save money.

Jane said: “I currently have three jobs and we have borrowed money from family already to cover costs. I worry about what will happen this winter.  

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“We live in an old cottage with stone walls and it takes a long time for it to warm up. Most times we keep heating as low as we can but Gethin likes his baths and when he wants to relax he likes to be taken out for a drive which costs petrol. He also has an epilepsy sensor which we have to keep on overnight, as well as his disco lights. It all adds up quickly.

“The rising costs make me anxious – it’s all so uncertain. The support government has just announced is a little drop in the ocean. Whilst appreciated, the way it's been allocated does also not tally with need. Costs are expected to continue to spiral, so what happens next winter?”

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The Leader: Jane, Gethin and husband Kevin Jane, Gethin and husband Kevin

Across the UK, 74 % of carers said that if prices continue to rise, they will be unable to cope, with more than two thirds (68 %) saying the pressure is affecting their mental health.

This new research is part of a national survey by disability charity Sense of 2,000 people, including 1,000 disabled adults and 1,000 families caring for a disabled child or adult.

Last month, the Government said that it recognised the pressure on disabled households and announced a one-off disability cost of living payment of £150, with disabled people who fall into the lowest income bracket, receiving an additional payment of £650, taking their total cost-of-living payments to £800. The measures were broadly welcomed, but the concern is that it will only bring temporary relief.

The research shows that 81% of disabled households in the UK do not believe the measures go far enough.

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Sense is calling for long-term financial support for disabled people and their families. This includes reinstating eligibility for the Warm Home Discount, which currently excludes around 210,000 people on disability benefits from applying. It also wants an urgent increase to benefits, to bring them in line with inflation.

Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive, said: “The research highlights the desperate everyday reality of disabled households across the UK, who are in debt and facing impossible decisions such as whether to eat or heat the home.

“Everyone is affected by rising prices, but disabled households are one of the hardest hit because of their circumstance.

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“Many are in poverty, less likely to be in full-time work and facing additional costs for essential goods and services, like charging the wheelchair or running the oxygen machine.

“With social care services cut, many families already struggle to get the support they need and feel there’s no way out of their financial situation.

“The costs disabled people and families face are not luxuries that can be cut, and ‘improved household budgeting’ will not solve the problem. Disabled people and carers need long-term financial support.”

Sense is inviting the public to sign its petition calling for long-term financial support for disabled people and their families amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

For more information and to sign the petition visit www.sense.org.uk/costofliving