Lois and David’s story: Why moving house can sometimes be the best option

In order to stay independent at home, it’s sometimes worth thinking about moving house to meet your changing needs.

lois david moving house housing options wheelchair disabled we care

Lois and David’s story

Lois contacted We Care for advice after her husband David had some falls at home.  David had been advised that he was no longer safe using the stairs at home by a healthcare professional. Lois was in the process of arranging for him to live downstairs in the dining room, which she knew would be very disruptive and impractical for them.

 

David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia in 2011 and his walking ability has gradually declined over the years.  Lois was aware that David might need to use a wheelchair in the future. Because of this, she wanted to explore the possibility of extending the back of the house to create a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.

 

How We Care was able to help

After an initial phone call the couple agreed to a home visit from Maria, our  in-house occupational therapist (OT).  Maria visited Lois and David to gain a full understanding of the couple’s needs.  The attachment to their home and their desire to continue living there was clear.

 

“It was a relief to get professional advice from Maria and Fatima as I had no idea what to expect or what was needed”

Lois

 

Maria returned at a later date with our technical lead, Fatima. Fatima was able to survey the property to establish what was structurally possible.  Lois said ‘It was a relief to get professional advice from Maria and Fatima. I had no idea what to expect, or what was needed”.

Given that Lois and David live on a very steep hill, Fatima explained that it would be very difficult to extend the property. It would be a timely, disruptive and expensive undertaking if they did decide to adapt their home.

 

Moving house is an option they had not considered

The team recommended Lois and David explore all of their options before making such a big decision.  Lois remembers when the team first asked if they had ever thought about moving, her reaction was very strong. ‘Definitely not!’.  Having spent 18 years making a house into a home, they felt they had too much to lose.  Lois was also concerned about how David might manage in a different environment due to his dementia.

The couple agreed to be referred to our Housing Options service (funded by Bristol Ageing Better) for support with this.  Our case worker, Michael, visited the couple to discuss all of their options and help them make an informed decision.

 

“People are often overwhelmed at the thought of moving home, but it can be the right decision for some, especially when the home environment works against them and their personal needs”

Michael

 

Michael says “People are often overwhelmed at the thought of moving home, but it can be the right decision for some, especially when the home environment works against them and their personal needs”.

For Lois and David, the location of their home on a steep hill was their biggest hurdle.  Even if the home was extended to include a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, David would still face significant difficulties getting up and down the steep driveway. Eventually, this could lead him to become housebound and lessen his quality of life a great deal.

A holiday at Our Bench changed their minds about moving house

Luckily, during these discussions Lois and David had a well-timed holiday planned to an Our Bench Accessible cottage. This gave them the opportunity to experience staying in a wheelchair accessible bungalow first hand.

lois david moving house housing options disabled we care

 

“The holiday made me realise there is a different way of living.”

Lois

 

 

 

Lois said “The holiday made me recognise there is a different way of living.  Everything had become difficult at home and we just got on with it.  In the bungalow, it was all so much easier than going out at our house.  David was able to enjoy going out because he didn’t need to waste energy getting out of the house and up the driveway.  He was able to shower every day and it was so much easier for me to care for him”.

On return from their holiday, Lois realised that although she found the prospect of moving daunting, it would be worth it in the end.  The couple began viewing local bungalows for sale. They got back in touch with We Care for advice on making the entrance wheelchair friendly and installing an accessible bathroom.

Lois said “It was very reassuring to us to know that once we had found our dream bungalow we would have help, support and expertise of the team at We Care to enable us to adapt the bungalow to meet our needs. It was one less thing to worry about”.

They have now had an offer accepted on the bungalow and are looking forward to a new way of living.

 

How we can help you

  • Call us on 0300 323 0700 for a chat with our technical team to find out how we can help you adapt your property. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • If you are considering a bathroom adaptation, you can pop into our Bristol showroom to see some examples of our stylish yet accessible bathrooms

 

Could a holiday in an accessible home help you make your mind up about adapting your home?

 

Lois and David’s stay at an Our Bench accessible cottage was crucial in helping them decide to move to a more accessible home.  Helen’s runs Our Bench with her family.  She says it is not uncommon for those that stay in the accessible cottages to go on to decide to make changes to their homes based on their positive experience.

If you’d like to know more, give Our Bench a call on 07751 064167.

We can help you with your Housing Options. Contact us if you are thinking of moving house to meet your changing health needs.

 

 

 

Bathroom adaptations – Planning ahead for you and your home

Bathroom adaptations are our speciality. That’s because they are the number one way to keep you independent in your own home for longer.

Adaptive bathrooms Occupational Therapist

Adapting your bathroom can increase independence

Unfortunately, as people age, most houses become increasingly difficult to live independently. The thought of moving house is not surprisingly very unappealing to most older people, many of whom have lived in their home for several decades. Children were raised in these homes, memories created.

This is where home improvements like bathroom adaptations can help. Through a few relatively simple changes, homes can be made liveable in again and independence restored to the homeowner, giving a new lease of life not only to the property but also the person or people living there. There have even been studies that have shown how minor adaptations like accessible bathrooms not only help people stay in their homes, but they prevent falls and injuries, improving everyday activities and mental health.

 

How a bathroom adaptation helped Margaret

We help hundreds of people every year to carry on living at home through a few small adaptations.

One of these people is Margaret. Margaret had been living in respite care for nearly 5 months following a fall where she broke her arm. Her daughter, Sue, contacted us as she wanted to help her mum to get home and back to the independent living she was used to, but was concerned about her safety. She had previously had a couple of falls and had now been told that she would not get full movement back in her arm.

We started with an assessment by our in-house occupational therapist (OT), Maria, who visited them both at Margaret’s flat. Maria spent time talking to both Margaret and Sue and looking around the home to best understand Margaret’s needs and wishes.

 

“I felt like I had made a new friend.”

Margaret

 

“I was a bit nervous and was expecting the occupational therapist to be a bit bossy to be honest!” Margaret said. “But by the end of the visit, I felt like I had made a new friend in Maria. She was very reassuring.”

After Maria’s visit, our technical officer, Chris C, and builder, Chris D, visited to provide a quote for adapting the bathroom to meet Margaret’s personal needs. Margaret had a level access shower installed with a free-standing chair.

 

“I really think the new shower is fantastic. It’s such a help. And it was all so quick!”

Margaret

 

Level access shower bathroom adaptations

“I was impressed by how tidy and considerate the builder was.” Margaret commented. “I really think the new shower is fantastic. It’s such a help. And it was all so quick!”

It took just 10 weeks from the OT assessment to the new bathroom being finished.

Sue added, “It’s a weight off my mind to know that my mum can relax and enjoy her new shower at the same time as staying safe.”

The bathroom is often the first place people tend to have difficulties as they get older. We advise planning ahead and making small changes in the bathrooms of your elderly parents or loved ones before a crisis situation arises.

 

Get in touch

If you are considering a bathroom adaptation or would like to know how we can help you or your loved ones to stay safe and independent at home, we can help.

 

  • Give us a call on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or, ask for a free quote and we will get in touch with you.

 

 

 

About We Care Home Improvements

We’re a not-for-profit organisation on a mission to improve the homes of older people and those with disabilities. Our aim is for people to live comfortably and independently at home for as long as they choose. Our specialties are bathroom adaptationshome adaptationshandyperson servicesoccupational therapy and home independence products.

We Care have been in the home maintenance business for over 30 years and our handyman service is Trading Standards Approved. As an approved supplier to Bristol, Bath & NE Somerset and Gloucestershire councils, you can be sure that our work is of a very high standard.

Staying independent at home – how home adaptations can help

Home is a central feature of our life…

Home is our sanctuary. A safe place to weather the storms of life. If you have lived there a long time, it’s a place filled with memories. That is why we feel so strongly about helping people to stay in the comfort of their own homes and live independently for longer. This is where home adaptations come in.

In later life, most of us will be affected by health and mobility issues that limit our ability to look after ourselves as we once did. But there are many modifications that can be done around the house to make it more accessible. We want to enable you to carry on living in the place you love. In the last 30 years, we have helped thousands of people to make changes. Things like garage conversions, home extensions, widening doorways, bathroom adaptations, downstairs toilets, hand rails, and anything else you may need.

A bespoke home improvement plan

Not only will the end result be life-changing, but we also take care of the whole process from start to finish. It’s our aim to provide you with complete peace of mind. When you work with us you will be given your own personal project manager. They will work with you to assess your needs and create a completely bespoke home improvement plan for you. They will also manage all the tradespeople and ensure that they get a fair price and the work is done to an excellent standard. We always work with people we trust who will respect your home. So you can rest assured that everyone we work with has been vetted through a rigorous process by our team.

Next steps

Let us help you to stay living independently at home – for longer…

  • Simply call us on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team to find out how we can help you. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • Alternatively, you can pop into our Bristol showroom to see some examples of our beautiful bathrooms and talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team.