“After 27 years with the police service, I retired to beautiful south Shropshire. I met new people at church and through volunteering, I soon made strong links in my local community. As my health began to deteriorate, a close friend brought me hot meals, collected my prescriptions and helped me with anything I was struggling with. It was my close friend who first contacted adult social care in 2015 on my behalf, and explained that I wasn't managing in my home. It was soon after this I met Michelle”.
Michelle takes up the story: “When I met Roy he was recovering from a fall. Health issues meant he was at risk of further falls and his living conditions no longer met his needs. The access to his property was unsafe, and Roy couldn't use his very small shower cubicle. I was also very concerned with the lack of insulation and heating in Roy’s home, which didn't lend itself to adaptations or improvements.
As Roy had already registered with Shropshire Homepoint (specifying his wish to continue living in the locality), I was able to include a supporting letter with his application to recommend that he was placed in the priority band for a property with level access facilities. I emphasised my concerns about Roy residing in his current property for another winter, as this may have been detrimental to Roy’s health”.
Roy continues: “I was particularly impressed with the professional effectiveness of Michelle’s supporting letter, and several months later I was offered a local bungalow. The property had level access throughout and was warm and comfortable. An independent living coordinator provided tenant support, and following my move in the autumn of 2015 my health and confidence greatly improved.
Unfortunately, there was still one issue: I wasn't able to use the bath. As I was unable to attend the occupational therapy bathing clinic in Ludlow due to my mobility problems at the time, Michelle reassessed my bathing needs in my new home. She spent some time explaining how the eligibility criteria was applied to my occupational therapy (OT) assessment and how this linked to the Care Act (2014).
The key responsibilities of the Occupational Therapy Team were to ensure that resources were used appropriately, and less intrusive solutions, such as equipment within the home, had to be considered before exploring major adaptations.
I must admit this wasn't what I wanted to hear as I'd set my sights on having a level access shower to replace the bath, which I was unable to use. Following some lengthy discussions I agreed to trial some bathing equipment. Michelle made some suggestions and also carried out a powered bath lift assessment. However, this demonstration wasn't successful. It had been established that the equipment wouldn't meet my long-term bathing needs so I was now eligible to apply for a disabled facilities grant (DFG). An occupational therapist (OT) recommendation for a level access shower was then submitted to the Private Sector Housing team. In spring 2016 I suffered a heart attack, but recovered well and continued to be updated on the progress of my DFG application by letter. In November 2016 my bathroom adaptation was completed within a week, and I must say I'm extremely impressed with the high standard of workmanship carried out by the Total Response Team. Michelle has since been to visit me to make sure everything is satisfactory and to assess if I need seating or more rails in my new shower room.
I feel very happy as I can now maintain my independence, and I don't need to rely on carers to help me with my personal care. I'm very grateful to adult social care, and my landlords, for the help they've provided. The quality of my life has greatly improved since moving to my new home, and I'm so pleased that I can continue to feel part of the community I'm familiar with, particularly in keeping in regular contact with my close friend."