Wet room installation

Does anyone have any experience of applying for the installation of a wet room in their own home on behalf of a relative? I'm struggling to cope with showering my elderly mum who's totally blind and has Alzheimers. I've been told that they will come out and assess her need but I'm worried about the cost as my husband and I are retired and the only income we have is his work pension and my carers benefit. We're not state pensionable age but given the amount of input mum needs we both need to be around. I have a feeling we will be asked to pay and our priority is getting rid of the mortgage given the circumstances we've found ourselves in. We're just about coping with the fall in income and are just getting by but if they do ask us to pay then I will just have to go on struggling :(

18 Replies

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  • Hi, get her GP involved. They should send out her OT. I don't know about payment, but I'm pretty sure it is all based on her income. I know with my own mother, nobody has asked about my income.

    Best of luck

    Lots of love

    Heady

  • Cheers. We've been concerned by the fact that because she lives with us they will deem it to be an alteration to the house that will benefit us in some way. If she lived in a council house and was on benefits we would probably get the wet room done with no arguments.

    Jeannie

  • Sorry, didn't realise that! I would still contact these people, at the worst case, you should be able to claim the VAT back.

    Lots of love

    Heady

  • Thanks anyway Heady x

  • It is worth sorting it out with the OT . If your Mum has less than about£25000 the funding can come from your local authority in the form of a loan which I believe is written off after x number of years . It is only claimed back if you sell the house within that period . I am not sure what the score is if your Mum lives with you but just phone the local council and ask they are pretty helpful about these things - just explain the situation . An OT will come to your house to assess the need but there is nothing to lose asking the council first . Georgepa

  • Have just Googled it you can apply on behalf of someone else and you only have to live in the property for five years . Landlords can apply for tenants so I am sure you will be OK

  • Thanks for that :) Mum has lived with us for 5 years now so hopefully we can sort something out. Jeannie

  • If you get the local Social Workers involved they may be able to offer alternative solutions. Certainly the OT could. But if the cost of a wet room is prohibitive (not forgetting the time taken to do it + mess!) there may be simpler options. Do make contact with the social workers who can also make sure you are getting all the help you need - financially and otherwise.

  • Thanks :) Our need is complicated by her blindness, confusion and inability to walk unaided. We're not entitled to anything as they consider my husbands work pension to be enough to live on. It's not as we pay the usual things everyone does i.e mort, insurances, council tax (albeit a wee bit reduced) and bigger fuel bills than we've ever had! That's all before we get around to actually living which includes food, clothing and trying to maintain a second hand car! There's no luxuries like sky or whatever and the cars a necessity.

    Last time I asked for financial assistance I got the impression they thought we would be better to sell the house, move into council accommodation , live off the proceeds and they would help us when that was done! The price we pay to care :( If they did agree to do it mum could go into respite care for a couple of weeks until it was completed. Something tells me I wont get any help given my last experience of asking. Jeannie

  • Jeannie960

    The earlier post was correct re funding as we have been through the process

    Its all means tested in relation to your mums savings

    Get in touch with your social worker who should put you in touch with the local councils home adaptions team or the occ health home adaptions team.

    Good luck

  • Have you applied for attendance allowance for your mum. Also look into carers allowance for yourself.

    Dependending on your mums needs you may want to look into NHS funding to help with paying for carers should you need that type of help.

    Please remember your income does not come into it. When its means tested its all about your mothers income and savings.

    you must look into this as you will need all the financial help you can get.

    1. Apply for attendance allowance for mum

    2. Apply for carers allowance

    3. Seek advice from social worker or district nurse re nhs continued care funding. Get an assessment done on your mum for it. If she doesnt qualify funds for carers can be obtained from the social services this is means tested (through mums income and savings)

    4. Contact your local occ therapy team re home adaptions.

    5. Would your mum benefit going to a day centre once or twice a week. We done this with mum and she loved it (mum is latter stage of PSP) Speak to your social worker about it

    Hope this helps

    Opope

  • Thanks Opope. I do get CA and couldn't do without it such as it is. Mum is on DLA and her Pension. I got assessed before and they refused me any further financial assistance as I said. They don't take into account what you spend your money on i.e mortgage etc and regard what you get is what you have and they're not concerned what you spend it on. We all know real life isn't like that when you're running a house and paying your way. I know my story isn't unique as many folk have to abandon their jobs/careers to take on the caring role. In a way your life starts going backwards :)

    Mum goes to a day centre once a week and she's really not able to cope with a second day. She actually doesn't like going but once she's there I think she's fine. She tires very easily and has sundowning in the late afternoon when she gets a wee bit more confused. Being blind complicates matter greatly as it's difficult to keep a blind person with Alzheimers stimulated. I'm waiting to hear if they will give us home respite a couple of times a week so that we can get out of the house for a walk as this 24/7 caring role is affecting my fitness levels. On a practical level a wet room would be fantastic as it's difficult trying to get an elderly blind person into a shower cubicle ....I don't know who gets soaked more :) They wouldn't have to do much as when she moved in we converted the garage into a bedroom and toilet with shower.....we actually had savings then!

    But once again thank you as all of this discussion has helped me air my worries! Sometimes you have to say things out loud to clear your thinking :)

    Jeannie

  • Jennie, I haven't applied myself yet (but considering it in the near future), one of the couples in our retirement village spoke to their Social Carer/OT about getting a grant for replacing their bath with a shower/wet room as her husband is severely visually impaired and she can no longer assist him into the bath. We rent our properties here but she didn't have to get the landlord involved accept to let our Manager know of her intentions. They applied for a full grant - haven't had to pay a penny themselves - he gets benefits and pension, she gets benefit for disability but is not of pension age as yet. The process was a bit long-winded. They first applied in Sept and the work was only done 2 weeks ago. Best of luck, I don't know what area you are in, but if you want me to ask them more questions let me know - email is gill.decumans@hotmail.co.uk Wishing you all the best with the venture.

  • Thanks GillJan. We owe a mortgage on our home and mum lives with us so I guess I will have to wait and see if they ask us to contribute or whether as some say it's down to my mums own income/savings. Even asking us to contribute 20% of the cost is enough to give me hives! :) I think I will wait and see the outcome of the assessment.

    For everyone who has given me advice I will post the outcome of all this.

    Jeannie

  • All the best to you Jeannie, hoping when you post the outcome is the right one for you. I would say that although our friends rent their flat in this retirement village, they do have savings and she was not means tested on the shower, it was decided by the Occupational Therapist to be a necessity and therefore they applied via them for a grant - slow process to get but still might help you in the future.

  • We tried applying for finacial assistance for a wet room conversion from our district council. Not only was it means tested and our pensions were such that they could only help with costs over £100,000 !! but it took them 9 months to tell us that!!!!!!

    One relieving note; because we had already modified our house with a walk-in shower with a seat in our bedroom for my wife to access, we receive a discount on our council tax. I am not sure whether this is national or a local arrangement. It's definitely worth enquiring.

  • Found out today that it's highly unlikely that we will have to pay as it is indeed based on mums income. The key factor here is that she gets pension credit. It seems they usually give you an 80% grant but they will waive the remaining 20% if you're on pension credit. We're waiting on that being confirmed. It seems that all we would have to pay is the planning permission. I can't see why because the bathroom and shower area already exists and all they would be changing is the floor and removing the cubicle of the existing shower. They tile around the shower area only and to be honest it will be as basic as they can make it. I'm not worried as long as it's a tidy job. In addition you get a wee shower chair on wheels as well so that will be handy. I will let you all know what happens and as, if and when this goes forward :)

  • Just a wee followup. Mums wet room is being installed on the 15th of June at no cost to us at all. Thanks for all the helpful replies and advice :)

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