People don’t usually plan to become carers, this is a role that often comes about unexpectedly and then people suddenly find themselves with a huge responsibility and they don’t always know where to turn or what support is available. A man came into the Independent Living Centre (ILC) with his mother who has Parkinson ’s disease. Her husband had been caring for her for several years, but he recently passed away, and her son found himself in a caring role. His father’s death was quite sudden and he was struggling to come to grips with all the things his dad used to do for his mum. Her son used to be a social worker in Walsall so he found out about the ILC through colleagues and decided to bring his mum in for some information and advice. They talked to a member of our Occupational Therapy (OT) team and she showed them a few simple aids like a back scratcher and a kettle tipper that could help them both around the house. The ILC is set up so that people can try these various small aids and larger pieces of equipment in a home setting. People can see for themselves what the equipment does and have a go at using it to find out if it is going to be helpful to them. At the moment these simple things are all they need but they know that over time they will come to need more and more support and now they know where to go for it.
Tag archives for Equipment
Sometimes, even with the best will in the world, you can miss out on things simply because you didn’t know there were there or didn’t know where to look.
This is what happened recently at our Independent Living Centre (ILC). A woman in her late 70s was being treated in hospital for various illnesses and she came into the ILC while she was out in Walsall, as she was finding it harder and harder to do everyday things.
There will be a representative of the occupational therapy (OT) department every day that we’re open so our on-duty OT had a chat with this lady and found out a bit more about her health and the things she was struggling with. We noticed that she seemed quite unsteady on her feet as she walked around the centre. As we have a lot of equipment installed here at the centre as part of our model home, we were able to show her some of the things that she might find helpful. She was also able to try them out then and there to see for herself how to use them and think about whether she would want any of these in her home.
As we talked to her a bit more, it was clear that she needed a bit more than just a chat, so we arranged to visit her at home and do an assessment with her. Her family realised that she needed support and had already made some changes to her home themselves, like re-modelling her bathroom to make it easier for her to shower and go to the toilet. This was all really positive and it showed that her family were keen to support her and obviously recognised she needed help, but they didn’t realise that there was somewhere they could go for advice and support to help with the adaptations and with other very simple pieces of equipment and tips on how to do daily tasks a little differently.
After talking to her about the things she was struggling with at home and going through her daily routine we were able to recommend various bits of equipment that would help her such as a raised toilet seat and a shower chair.
These are on their way to her home now and we will be checking back with her to talk her through how to use them and to see how she’s getting on with them.
Her and her family are really pleased with the help and advice they had from us at the ILC so far and now they know where to go if they ever need us again!
On the surface it appears that they are coping fine – an older couple in their 80s, bright, cheerful, getting out and about, active at their local community centre and taking part in breakfast clubs, bingo and trips. But look beneath as one of our occupational therapists (OTs) did and you’ll find they’ve been struggling with day to day life and making the best of a difficult situation.
Their social worker put our OT in touch with the couple because Mr Haynes who has rheumatoid arthritis was struggling to get up out of his chair. The OT agreed he needed a highback chair and sorted this for him. As part of the assessment , the OT also discovered that this couple were struggling with their bedtime routine. Mr Haynes’ arthritis made it extremely difficult for him to make it upstairs and Mrs Haynes, who is also quite frail herself was pushing him up the stairs. Quite a dangerous situation! We arranged a Disabled Facilities grant with housing services for a wet room and a stair lift to help make their bedtime routine easier. Their social worker also put them in touch with our welfare rights service to help them get all the right benefits.
This team effort to help Mr and Mrs Haynes (names have been changed) cope a bit better at home has meant they can continue to enjoy their busy social life with a bit more piece of mind about their day to day tasks.
We’re also working as a team to help social workers gain the knowledge they need to assess people for various small pieces of equipment, like raised toilet seats, bath boards, walking sticks. OTs are giving social care staff detailed training on how to assess for these simple pieces of equipment so that people can get the help they need more quickly and the OT team can focus on more complex cases where more time and effort may be needed.