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.

 

 

 

Protecting yourself from having a fall at home

Having a fall - older woman

The impact of having a fall

Having a fall can be a frightening and shocking experience. Whether the fall takes place indoors or outdoors, at home or away, it can make a person feel vulnerable. This is especially true for an older person and if this leads to a fear of falling, it can have a big impact on their quality of life.

Depending on the circumstances of the fall and whether or not an injury was sustained some people can become less confident, less independent and more socially isolated.

Fortunately a lot of falls are preventable and many things can be done to reduce the chances of having a fall. The biggest hurdle can be people realising that they are at risk in the first place.

“Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home
will have at least one fall a year,
and about half of these will have more frequent falls.”

NHS on Falls

It is common for older people to ignore this because they are keen to maintain their independence. They see making some changes or accepting equipment offered by occupational therapists as giving in when really it is the opposite. It can help keep someone safe and independent in their own home.

If the chance of someone having a fall can be reduced this can increase the chances of their continuing to live satisfying lives.

Reasons for falling

There are lots of reasons why people fall such as weak muscles, poor balance, dizziness, visual problems or medication. If you have any medical concerns about falling you should discuss this with your GP.

Other reasons people fall can be due to hazards in the home. Our handyman service can help with jobs such as securing loose carpets that may cause you to trip, fitting an extra stair rail to give you extra support, installing grab rails in areas of the house you may feel vulnerable in, building concrete half steps to reduce the height of external steps, or even doing some jobs that you may feel could cause you to have a fall, such as changing light bulbs, putting up curtain poles or clearing the gutters.

 

How We Care Home Improvements can help

Our handyman service is set up to help with exactly this kind of home maintenance, and we have been helping people with their homes for over 30 years. You can completely trust our handymen and handywomen, who are all Trading Standards Approved.

 

Get in touch

Our customer service representatives can often provide a quote over the phone. If not, we will arrange for a Handyman or Handywoman to visit you and complete a quote that way.

 

  • 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.