Housing and independent living
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Grants for wetroom/bathroom re-modelling.

ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected
Hi. I'm a carer for my wife who has MS, she is due to be discharged from hospital soon and will be back home again, (been in hospital since 3rd Feb.) .

The equipment which will be supplied to transfer her from one chair to another etc. is too large to fit through our bathroom door and talking to the OT at the hospital they seem to think that it's normal to just have a strip wash for the rest of her life, Neither my wife or myself find this acceptable.  (Not impressed with the OT dept, for various related reasons).

It has been suggested that a wet-room, or a walk-in (chair-in) shower could be fitted and a grant obtained for this.  I feel that this could be a non-starter as the bathroom may be too small to take a wheelchair accessible shower enclosure and too small be a full wet room.

I received the initial forms relating to the grant yesterday and unsurprisingly they want a very detailed account of our income and savings. I'm reluctant, but resigned to having to provide all of this if necessary, but I can't find anywhere any meaningful details of the means test applied to say what we'd get or what we might have to pay ourselves.

If our savings and income are sufficient to disbar us from getting a grant I'd rather not go through the laborious process of accessing all of our ISAs etc. to get the exact figures required, not to mention broadcasting my financial details to the entire council office.

The most info I can find is this:- "Savings over £6,000 will be taken into account.
Depending on the assessment, the amount of financial assistance offered can vary up to 100% of the cost".

If we said it costs somewhere between £10k and £15k for a complete bathroom/wetroom makeover, how much do I have stashed away before the grant is zero?

This information appears to be hidden away where I can't find it.







Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ayjay, welcome to the community!

    Great to hear that your wife will hopefully be home soon, and that you're looking into adaptations. I've moved this post into our 'Ask an OT' category as my colleague @Jean_Scope is likely to know more about this process than I do. But in the meantime, you may find Scope's grants search helpful in seeing if any awards are suitable for you. 
  • ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Thanks Pippa, I was thinking of playing my QI "NOBODY KNOWS" card. B)
  • fairkat2fairkat2 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi, have you tried your local Age UK office? Or Care and Repair? They may be able to help
  • ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected
    I called in to a local disability Information centre this morning. Their view was that with the amount of money that we have in savings we would have to pay 100% of the cost, although this would actually only be 90% because some items would be fully covered under the grant.

    I need to get some sort of feasibility study done as the bathroom is quite small and I can't see how it can work, (as a retired carpenter I'm not totally ignorant about room layouts/designs etc.). I think at the very least the door will have to be moved, (meaning the hall will need redecorating), and the bathroom window is likely to have to go as well.

    I'm not going to do much more until my wife is home again and we can see how we manage with what we have. A bath hoist may be a simpler solution. Only seeing her sat in a wheelchair for an hour a day it's difficult to know what her current capabilities are, if any.
  • atlas46atlas46 Community champion Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi 

    A warm welcome.

    On the basis that you now know you will have to
    fund the revamp of your bathroom, can I make some suggestions.

    Contact the OT department at your Local Authority and ask for a Home Assessment for your wife.

    They must carry out this for free.

    They will assess every aspect of her needs and provide an assessment report.

    Contact the MS Society helpline 0808 800 800 for advice.

    With your background in the building trade, is there any plumbers that you know, who have carried out this kind of work?

    Let us know if you need anymore info.

    Best wishes

    atlas45


  • ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Thanks atlas45, with my wife in a specialist Neorological ward I've got Physios, OT Specialists and Social Workers all over me like a rash. The local council OT dept were involved at one stage back in January but they dragged their feet for so long on a "Number 1 Priority" (their terminology, not mine) that by the time they got around to making an appointment my wife was already in hospital,  their view then was that the hospital would now deal with assessments and equipment etc.

  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering

    Hi @ayjay

    Sorry for the delay in responding, I only have a few hours a week to respond to posts, so often posting a reply takes longer than I would like.

    Actually, you were probably not that far from the mark with your "nobody knows" comment! As things currently stand each local authority is allowed to use their own financial assessment criteria so you won't find detailed national guidance on the calculation that will be applied. Some local authorities publish the calculation that they use on their website but all should provide it on request.

    My expectation would be that local disability advice services would normally know the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), means-testing calculation formula being used in their area. So if your local information service has already advised you then that is probably an accurate answer.

    It is disappointing that you don't seem to be getting the information and advice that you need from the OT's involved with your wife's care. I know in many areas resources have been cut to the bone and waiting lists are ridiculous. What is clear is that even if you pass the means test to get a DFG you won't be able to get it without having an OT visit, assess and sign it off.

    From your post it sounds as if there is some confusion about if you should be dealing with the hospital OT or the community OT on this matter. Sometimes local working arrangements differ, but generally speaking the hospital OT will normally be involved with assessing the home only to ensure that the discharge is 'safe'.

    In my experience, the hospital OT isn't going to get involved with longer term arrangements, such as major home adaptations, unless they are essential to get the disabled person safely discharged from hospital. Basically, with regards to personal hygiene, they will just want to ensure that immediate needs are addressed, so in the 'short term' strip washes and the use of a commode are often assessed as adequate.  

    Ideally, the hospital OT's will liaise and 'handover' to their colleagues working as community OT's. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen as we might hope so do ensure that you follow up with the community OT as soon as you have a discharge date for your wife. It will be the community OT that needs to advise you an how your home can be adapted to met your wife's longer term needs. If the bathroom isn't big enough to accommodate her needs other, more creative or expensive solutions may need to be considered (such as, room reconfigurations, extensions, XY tracking, hoist etc).

    If you are confident that you are not going to meet the means test to get a DFG and are going to have to fund an adaptations from private means, and the wait to see the community OT is lengthy, then you might decide to act before having had them assess and advice. In which case you may feel that investing in getting advice from an OT in independent practice would be wise:

    https://www.rcotss-ip.org.uk/find  

    As this post may well be read by others at a later date or with differing circumstances I would just like to point out that, at the time of writing, DFG's are not means tested for children. Also that currently there is a review taking place into DFG's and it is likely that they will be replaced with a different system/criteria in the not to distant future.

    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

  • ayjayayjay Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Many thanks Jean, there's a lot of useful information there which I feel sure I can use to move things onwards eventually.

    I'm no longer in quite such a rush to move this on as the hospital OT dept. are now changing the equipment that they thought my wife required as they can't make it work for her.

    I'm  wearing/worrying myself to frazzle for nothing at the moment, so I'm going to wait until she's home and one or two things are settled and I know what I'm dealing with.

    I can't solve a problem if I don't know what the problem is, (whether it's my job or not). It's still my wife and i want what is the best and most practical solution for her.
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