Me and my OT

I have a fabulous OT who has worked really hard on my behalf, she keeps in touch with me when I am in the RBH letting me know how progress withthe many alterations the house is going to need are going. She has cut every corner she can sensibly arranged joint visits with people rather than one coming sending a report to someone else who then has to come and look. As you can imagine this is wonderful especially when I am dealing with a lot of new stuff and trying to process what it means for me, she sees things that will help me all the time. It is good having someone come along who says lets take out a double cupboard in the kitchen drop the work surface and then you can get your W/C under it to make a cup of tea or prepare your own food, at the time I was not convinced, one days thought later and I realised what a brilliant but simple idea that was and how great it will be. I have even ordered one of those kettle things where you press the button and dispenses a cup full of boiling water, I am too clumsey to be allowed to use a kettle!

Anyway down to the nitty gritty, there have been 2 major places where our opinions diverge one is a hoist to get me back up when I fall (which I do quite a lot) and changing my bathroom into a wet room, my bathroom which is en suite will be my main loo and I will need to get out of my wheelchair and walk along side the bath to get to it, which means when I fall it will probably in quite a narrow space. She has suggested a ELK which is an inflatable cushion and is designed for use in narrow spaces and I am grudgingly agreeing to especially as I will be home with only one person much more once the kids flee to uni. However, I do feel bad that this woman is busting a gut for me and I am being my usual stuborn self. Should I bite the bullet and go with her recommendation put in a wet room move the toilet to a more sensible position or should I dig my heels in and keep my much loved bath which I use with a bath seat at the moment.

Thoughts, idea opinions welcomed.


ps people should note my difficulties have come about as a result of something going wonky in my brain when I was very sick last year my asthma obviously does not make things any easier but it is not the reason I am needing all these alterations w/c etc.

17 Replies

  • Hi Bex, thanks for sharing your OT experience here!

    Some food for though for some of us here.

    I am toying with the idea of a wet room with shower instead of a bath ( My bath is curently 5ft long & 3 ft deep and a big step up) I rarely have a bath, well not at all at the mo, and have a bath board & grab rail so I can use the shower.

    My housing association is very good (Ex- council) and have just employed their own OT! She has me on the books and will come out at some stage to see what housing can do to improve my house!

    The only downside to a wet room with just a shower is if there are other people living in same house who like baths. A friend got round this by leaving bathroom & bath upstairs and having a wet room built downstairs ( extension or current cloakroom??) so family could still have baths. Perhaps then you could have both? Shower and bath?

    Regarding kitchen - the only way I can wash up at the mo is by parking percking stool infront of sink with the cupboard door open so leg can perch on the lower shelf ( there is not quite enough room at mo a fridge oposite sink ina galley kitchen.



  • Kate, sounds like your housing association are ticking all the right boxes. To be honest I don't want to have a wet room downstairs, just because I am stuborn cuss and like the option to have a bath, I am sure the LA have far better things to spend their cash on other than the whole cufuffle of putting in a brand new ""wet room"". I have a additional bathrooms here with baths but only my ensuite is on the level the through floor lift will get me to.


  • I'm waiting for OT to assess via pain clinic see what they come up with for me...

    Typing hypothetically here hope this makes sense i'm afraid having attempted to tuck daughter into bunk bed i fell off ladder so am on the heavy duty pain killers but this has influenced my thoughts!! Much as though i love my bath no matter how many times i slip or fall in/out of it the best thing about being out of hospital is using your own loo so if access to a loo was ever likely to delay a hospital discharge if my mobility/level of well being declined at all think i would opt for the wet room as ease of access to toilet equals less risk of fall and injuring self and ending up admitted or more dependant than already was.

  • Just remembered, if wet room aproved at some stage, they will have to widen the doorway cos too narrow for wheelchair - I can jam the wheels in as far as the brakes..........Poor door frame!

    PS Marmite! Please be carefull!

  • We've removed all doors downstairs for same reason - nothing worse than getting stuck part way through!!

  • Mine have been measured by my OT and the people for Old Sparky (I do have a bad and untreatable case of gallows humour) and they are all wide enough. Spoke to Old Sparky people today wheelchair is on order should arrive within the next 4-6 weeks they then need to customise it, I barely managed to resist saying ""pimp my ride"" to the girl on the other end of the phone. I don't think she was impressed with my initial apology for probably being the worst client ever but I just had to know some time scales and would they mind hazarding a guess as to how long it will it be. Got another bod from the Local Council out tomorrow not sure why but have emailed OT and hope she might be able to come out too I don't feel up to explaining everything and I am not really sure why this chap is coming. Lets hope he does not arrive when I am in the bath!



  • Hi Bex

    have you made a decision yet re the bath? just a thought but would one of those baths that have a door as such be any good? i have to admit i would go for the wet room option though , i know where u are coming from wanting baths as i have not been able to have one for over 5 yrs at home and i do miss them but i also hate having them in costa due to lack of privacy.

    I am currently getting aquainted with lovely OT and she keeps telling me im too stubborn as i keep on turning down things- for me its trying to keep some normality for my kids but also a certain amount of denial but i have agreed to a wet room downstairs as currently i have to spend alot of time stuck upstairs as i cant get up or down easily,

    Just remember as a physio said to me the other day - ultimately you have to do what is best for and everyone has to accept it.

    thinking of u x

  • I also was stubbon I wanted to do things my way, they kept saying a stair lift would make the world of difference, even had my daughter have a nag at me so finally i agreed -now had it for 6 yrs now dont know what i would do without it but i still load myselof up when come down in the mornings ,its a habit. I still use the top spindle to pull myselve up

    The following year was suggested a wet room, i also said cant have one of those its also my daughters house she was away at uni at the time and siad ""look mum you cant get in and out the bath without someone ther although the shower is over the bath u still have to climb in JUST AGREE "" reluctantly agreed have had it inow for 5 yrs now and again would love a soak but !!!

  • I wish I had a current OT!

    I was signed off last year after they did a quick assessment - got a bathboard out of them but had to ask a couple of times for a grab rail for the bath! The OT seemed to think I could pull myself up using the bath board if i was in the bath??? did she not realise the thing is only held in place by a couple of moveable brackets that jam against the side of the bath - It would flip up and dent ny head if I tried!!!

    I tried my OT again at the begining of the week for a push along tea trolley to help with moving things around house.... I had been using w/chair! I got refered round in one big circle ... Soc serve -> GP -> OT -> Soc serv...... In the end I went to the Red Cross medcial comforts service and BINGO! They sorted me out with a trolley on loan.

    The only way I can get an OT assessment now is via Soc serv or speak to my housing OT which I may try!

    Sorry for the rant..... but I seem to have had not much luck with OTs.

  • I am going to keep my bath but, she said we can always change that later. She is coming out with someone to Demo the ELK cushion but if it fits the bill they will order one for me. Got a man about a lift coming today to measure up and decide on exact location, my OT and the nice man from the council are coming too, its going to be quite a houseful.

    Kate, my referal to community OT came when when I was ready for discharge from hospital, the ward OT refered me. There must be some way you can get help, mind you it does sometimes feel like you are being shoved around in circles. Until my OT came to see me she had no idea how desperatly I needed help and I had been at home struggling before then.



  • I still have my friendly OT, mine came from the hospital discharge team. She gave me here contact number so i could contact her if i ever needed any help in the future. While i am well i manage quite well, what with a shower stool and a lady coming round to rescue me with my food shopping and paying bills (this due to learning diffs).

  • People have finished trotting around my house measuring this and that. We can't get the through floor lift in the hallway so it will have to go into my bedroom. which means I get to play with little bits of paper to represent furniture all done to scale, because my bed is going to have to move! They noticed some damp in the kitchen and are going to fit an extractor fan as well as damp spores are not good for lungs.

    I can see I am going to have to get Mum and Aunty Mary up to assist with the chaos that will doubtless be created. Should all happen in about 8 weeks the lifts has to be ordered.

    I am off to look at wheelchair assesible cars next week.

  • I assume you are going to stay put during the works? Just don't tell soc serv or they may try to get you into respite care ( yes, they even mentioned that in passing today) or other accomodation which may be even more unsuitable to staying put!

    Unless you have ready made plans already!

    I am so glad you are getting so much support. I haven't initiated getting care & OT when in hosp in the past so this is all self initiated because I have realised that while I have been independent or coping in my way, I now need help.

    I will try the Community housing OT again and phone her on monday to see if she can help with things.

  • I am going to see my sister her Mother in Law is an absolute treasure and lives in a bungelow right in the middle of no-where it is wonderful there, she has been dying to get me over there and spoil me rotten (she is a nurse and used own a nursing home) it will be a nice break, able to see loads of my sister and my adorable nephew James. And MiL's partner has been working on an awsome hornby rail track since I brought James his first train set, it reminded him he had some stuff and now he has huge lay out in one of the old stables and he really wants to show me it, I can't wait for a hour or 6 playing trains :)

    In the mean time Kim and Aggie AKA Mum and Aunty Mary will put my house back to rights once the workmen have gone.



  • Hi Bex,

    So glad to see you have finally allowed the wet room, they are a really great idea. I had a customer a few years back who had to spend a lot of his time in a wheelchair, and I designed and built a wet room for him, he had no choice, the social services said that or move, anyway, when it was all finished he was really pleased with it, and wish it had been done before, and i'm sure yo will feel the same once the hassle of having workmen around has finished. Extractor fans are now compulsory for kitchens and bathrooms, and good to see that the damp got spotted in the kitchen, so should help with that, but there is nothing to say you have to use them. The lift in my opinion is a far more sensible and aesthetically pleasing for a traditional home like yours than a stair lift, the track never looks nice, and the chair takes space at the top or bottom. There are so many products and simple changes for the home that even one or two can make a huge difference to the way you live your life, I fit a few now and again for the elderly customers, and make some minor alterations, and it's amazing how much they get that independence they so longed for back. hope you get the same.

    All the best, and take care,


  • Thanks Chris, I am having a mini panic about how I am going to fit everthing in my bedroom. We put the bed where it is cos there wasn no-where else to fit it and bedside tables which I need as I keep things like my neb, epipen, and other general asthma clutter. Going to play with bits of paper to scale and see what I can do.


  • Hello Bex,

    I am glad you have somewhere suitable to stay. I guessed you would have something sorted and you have had time to do it. If leg wasn't plastered, yes I probably would have stayed at Mums etc. Sorry if I came over a bit sarcastic yesterday LOL!

    Extractor fans - just had two fitted yesterday to cure my damp problems too! Though they did create a stink when they drilled through some wood with a very hot drill bit!



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