Housing and independent living
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I am so upset

tryingmybesttryingmybest Member Posts: 27 Connected
hi, so i have a vestibular disorder which affects my balance/vertigo etc it has been agreed by my OT that i need a level access shower but the council wont gove me medical priority as they say my partner who is my carer can help me bath and look for alternative private rented homes that landlords will be willing to adapt . (Im cutrenty private renting and the landlord has refused major adaptions only agreed to minor ones such as grab rails) Can they do this? Do i have any rights to live independently? Thank you

Replies

  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering

    Hi @tryingmybest

    Sorry to hear that you have received this upsetting decision from the Housing Office. I have tried to address the points you raise in a response to your post on my wall:

    https://community.scope.org.uk/profile/Jean_Scope

    Best Wishes

    Jean

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Jean_Scope

    Im just going to copy your answer in here so it's easier for others to follow.

    I'm sorry to hear that you have hit a barrier in your quest to get rehoused into social housing that would better met your needs. The quick answer to your question is 'Yes' they can do this but you may have grounds to challenge it. 

    So, if I understand correctly, the OT has agreed that you would benefit from having a shower/wetroom and would be willing to arrange this funded by a DFG if your private landlord would agree to the adaptations, which he currently won't. If you moved to another rented house with a more amenable landlord, the OT would arrange to have adaptations there if necessary.

    However, the housing department are not convinced that your current bathing facilities put you at sufficient risk of clinical harm that they will award you a medical priority for social housing. Presumably, this is because they believe that your basic hygiene needs can still be addressed in your current home by having your partner assist you. Getting them to review, and change, their decision is next challenge that you face.

    So what argument could you use to convince them that your current bathing facilities are putting you are impacting on you medically? Perhaps being dependent on your partner to be able to have a bath is impacting on your dignity and independence? This in itself won't get you a medical priority but if you can evidence it is having a significant impact on your mental wellbeing that would add weight to your case. 

    In addition is there any reason way your partner is unable to assist you with bathing? (cultural? bad back? etc). A note of caution here - if you are saying that your partner is unable to assist you with bathing does this contradict information you have provided elsewhere (claims for PIP/Carers Allowance? Local authority care needs assessment?).
    So I guess you need to think this through and decide how you want to proceed. Potentially making a formal complaint about the decision of the Housing Department and obtaining further evidence to support your argument that your current bathing facilities are not only inappropriate to your needs (as evidenced by the OT report) but are sufficiently impacting on your health in ways that can't simply be addressed by having a carer assist you. 

    Sometimes getting your MP to advocate on your behalf can be helpful and/or perhaps you could get some specialist housing advice from Shelter: 
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/

    Be prepared for the Housing Office suggesting that as you have demonstrated that you are capable to arranging a private rented property that you should work on finding another privately property with a landlord who is willing to allow adaptations. Are there reasons related to your physical or mental wellbeing that mean that this option isn't feasible for you?
    Best Wishes
    Jean

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • tryingmybesttryingmybest Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thanks @Jean_Scope this has been on going since last year and at first one of the housing staff laughed at me and said surely you can bath then i asked for a review and i was awarded priority then a month later they removed it saying i can have my partner help me which is undignified im only 30 & have 3 children . I would just like the chance to be more independent so my partner could find some part time work x
  • tryingmybesttryingmybest Member Posts: 27 Connected
    @Jean_Scope i also suffer from OCD Anxiety & Depression my gp also wrote a letter saying it is essential i have a level access shower 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Im so sorry you were laughed at, thats awful :(
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • tryingmybesttryingmybest Member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you @Sam_Scope i just feel so let down even though my partner has to assist me with bathing etc the whole process of getting in and out sitting down and having water round me makes me feel so off balance & vomit ... its like constantly being severly sea sick. And when episodes of vertigo strike and the room is moving even with his help its so dangerous :(
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