Major home adaptation case study for a through-floor lift

Major home adaptation case studies

Mrs S and the through-floor lift

Mrs S has a progressive neurological condition which makes it hard for her to walk. She uses crutches at home and a wheelchair when she goes out. She expects to need to use a wheelchair all the time in the future. Her home has 2 floors, and she shares it with her husband, adult daughter and their pet dog, Dougal.

Mrs S was finding it hard to get round her home. On some days, she couldn't get upstairs. On those days she couldn't use her bathroom, toilet or bedroom and she often slept downstairs. Even when she could get upstairs, she had problems getting in and out of the bath. She called her local council for help, who referred her to an occupational therapist (OT).

The OT called Mrs S and chatted about what she could do, and what she was finding hard. The OT decided that Mrs S is likely to need adaptations rather than equipment. The OT visited her at home to carry out a functional assessment. They looked at the layout of her home to see what they could change. They wanted to be sure it would meet her changing needs. For example, she had to be able to get around her home in her wheelchair.

The OT suggested widening doorways and changing the bath for a walk-in shower. They talked about how to help Mrs S to use both the floors in her home. Both agreed that a stair lift might be hard for her to use, so her OT suggested a through floor lift. This would be wide enough for a wheelchair and would mean that Mrs S could get around her home on her own.

At first, Mrs S wasn't sure. She worried that Dougal might get stuck under the lift. Her OT explained that couldn't happen. The lifts have floor sensors and wouldn't move if Dougal was in the way. Reassured, Mrs S agreed, and the OT asked a through floor lift company to visit to explain how it would work.

Mrs S was happy but she didn't know how she would pay for it. She wasn't working and her husband had cut his work hours to take care of her. Her OT told her that work like this is usually funded by a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). The OT explained that the DFG is means tested and Mrs S agreed that she would share her financial information. After Mrs S had signed the Occupational Therapy Major Adaptation Report (OTMAR), the OT passed her case to a home improvement agency (HIA) case worker.

The case worker met with the family and helped Mrs S to fill out a financial assessment. It showed that she was likely to get the grant. The OT and a surveyor drew up plans and Mrs S agreed the plans. They found someone to carry out the work and agreed a start date.

After a few weeks the work was done. Mrs S is happy with the work. She can use all the rooms in her house and hasn't slept downstairs in weeks.

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