CONNECT OT – CASE STUDIES

Major adaptations

TJ is a man in his 40’s who was involved in a road traffic accident resulting in spinal cord injury. When I meet TJ, he was living in a nursing home and receiving full assistance for all activities of daily living. He was hoisted for all transfers and mobilised in a powered wheelchair. He was washed whilst lying on a shower trolley and received full assistance for all personal care and toileting tasks. He was very unhappy being in the nursing home as he wanted to be living with his wife and son in their family home.

TJ had received a compensation payment and with this had funded the purchase of a new house. Having met with TJ and gained a thorough understanding of his needs and wishes for the new family home, I visited the property and completed a full assessment. By understanding TJ’s care needs, equipment requirements and his wish for the property to feel like his home and not a clinical, hospital like environment I was able to make several recommendations that were incorporated into the final architectural designs.

These included:

  • a through floor lift to allow wheelchair access between each level of the property.
  • a ceiling track hoist system in the bedroom, bathroom and therapy room.
  • a beautiful looking wetroom style bathroom with adequate space for the carers to work in. A specialist wash and dry toilet was included that gave TJ more control over his toileting routine.
  • ramped access up to the front door and creation of large opening doorways.
  • ramped access to the garden and design of a fully wheelchair accessible garden. The garden had an emphasis on sensory stimulation which was of great importance to TJ.
  • a carers living area was included which consisted of a bed sit style room with bed, shower room, toilet, hand basin and kitchenette. This was recommended as TJ was going to have live in care and he wanted them to have a separate living area, so they were not always in the main family living areas of the home.

We assisted in sourcing reputable companies to complete the works at the property. TJ is now living at his new home, had a great care team that support him with his daily living tasks and the environment has been adapted exceptionally well whilst still maintaining important aesthetic features that reflect TJ and his family’s personalities.

New build property

Mr W contacted us requesting a review of the architectural plans that had been completed for a new build property that was due to be built. We met with Mr W and his wife. They were a retired couple who were in good health but were conscious of the potential for their home to become restrictive over time as they aged and their mobility decreased.

We provided advice and suggestions for various areas of their new home, including:

  • kitchen: included clever positioning of adjustable height cupboards, wall mounted oven as well as pull out drawers in the dishwasher to make using the
  • kitchen easier.
  • bathroom: designed a new ensuite bathroom that included wetroom shower. By including this in the ensuite they were able to keep the main bathroom as a traditional family bathroom with bath, which was important to them for when the grandkids come over to stay!
  • bedroom: redesigning the configuration of the master bedroom to allow space for any adjustable beds and equipment that they might require as they get older whilst still maintaining a clutter free room.
  • widening of all the doorways

Their property has now been built and will enable them to continue living happily in it for a long time, regardless of what their health and mobility might do in the future.

DFG applications

CB contacted us as she wanted to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to install a stairlift in her house. She had contacted her local council’s OT department but was told she would have to wait a very long time for an assessment. So, with their agreement she arranged a private assessment via ourselves.

She has arthritis and was having increasing difficulties getting up and down her stairs. Her bedroom and bathroom were located on the first floor of her house. To get up and down the stairs she had to crawl up on all four limbs, which was putting increased pressure on all her joints. We agreed that she would benefit from a stairlift, so we arranged for a local reputable stairlift company to visit with us to measure and quote for the installation. We completed a report and assisted CB with her application for a DFG.

We are pleased to say that she now has the stairlift installed and is happily using it every day to go up and down her stairs.

Bathroom adaptation following an amputation

Mrs Harris contacted us to give her advice about adapting her bathroom. Her right lower leg had recently been amputated following a long standing medical problem.

Her bathroom consisted of a standard shower cubicle and a vanity unit, with a separate toilet located next to the bathroom. Mrs Harris was originally wanting advice about how to make the existing shower easier to access. But after our visit, having discussed the difficulties she was currently having and the help she needed from her husband we felt the best option for her was to knock down the wall between the toilet and the bathroom and redesign the bathroom in much more appropriate manner.

The works included creating a wetroom shower with a fold down seat attached to the wall, a new wall hung wash basin that she could access whilst in her wheelchair and a new toilet that was higher than her previous one and made getting on and off it from her wheelchair much easier. There was also a wider door installed that easily accommodated the size of her wheelchair, so she no longer had to struggle to get through the doorway.

The extra space in the bathroom was really helpful for Mrs Harris and meant that she could set things up in the bathroom and complete all her washing and dressing herself, so was no longer reliant on her husband to assist.