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Does a bed count as an aid for dressing?

AellaAella Member Posts: 13 Listener
I'm having a reasessment by phone for PIP.  Since my last assessment I've had a stroke, so my condition has worsened.  The stroke has left me so unbalanced that I can't stand on one leg any more, not even for a moment.  So when I get dressed, the only way I can put underwear trousers and socks on is to lie down on my bed and do it.  Does the bed count as an "aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress?"

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there and welcome to the community 

    Im no expert but I wouldn't think a bed would count as a aid 

    Non disabled people would sit on bed to get dressed as well 

    I only have 1 leg and I didn't put it down but I don't know if that was wrong 

    Other members will be able to help you can also look online for aids that are considered for pip 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    See the commentary at https://pipinfo.net/activities/dressing-and-undressing.

    However, if your bed has rails then it's worth a glance at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/caselaw/item/grab-rails-constitute-an-aid-or-appliance.

    The gist is that a bed is an item that most often most people would use for dressing and thus it does not replace a function etc. However, there remain limited circumstances in which it could count as an aid so one must always be live to those. 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,197 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Aella - judges have disagreed over this one. Please see: https://pipinfo.net/issues/aids-and-appliances
    'In [2015] UKUT 572 (AAC) Judge Mark ruled that a bed could be an aid for the purposes of getting dressed. However, in [2016] UKUT 197 AAC, Judge Jacobs disagreed finding that, whilst an item did not have to be specifically designed as an aid, it nevertheless must be sufficiently 'connected' to the activity to count as an aid for the purposes of PIP. In [2016] UKUT 501 (AAC), Judge Markus prefers the ‘connection argument’, holding that sitting was a ‘usual and normal’ way to dress which meant a bed was not an aid for dressing or undressing in all but the most exceptional cases.'

    However, you mention you have to lie down to dress your lower half, rather than sit. Your argument perhaps, which you seem to say, is that you cannot do this activity 'reliably' (in this case safely) without lying down. I would just say what you have to do in order to get dressed.

    Remember, for all activities, you may score some points if you can't do an activity:
     - Safely
     - In a reasonable time (does it take you more than twice as long as someone without your disability?)
     - To an acceptable standard
     - Repeatedly (as often as it would be reasonable to expect)
    Good luck with your assessment. :)
  • AellaAella Member Posts: 13 Listener
    thanks for the info.  Do you think non slip socks for the shower count as an aid?
  • rubin16rubin16 Member Posts: 102 Pioneering
    Hi,

    I think your missing the concept of an aid abit, Like anything that is designed to help you do the task is classed as an Aid, but it can't be something that is used to make life easier for everyone. for example, having a hand rail to grab, having a seat in your shower, having a wet room. I don't think socks count as they are designed for everyone and anyone to use them and don't specifically help you shower and count just the same as having a shower mat which many have.

    You need to have things that specifically are designed to help you, like walking aids, rails, lifts etc. Not everyday items or anyone could say anything is an aid really. Like I could say my computer chair is an aid, as it adjusts in height, or my bed is an aid because I sit on it to put socks and shoes on.

    My point being you could argue anything is an Aid, but only aids that are not everyday items and are designed to help you personally do the task easier. Also just a note but saying you put socks on and off after and before each time you shower might actually go against you.

    Hope this helps.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    I think your missing the concept of an aid abit, Like anything that is designed to help you do the task is classed as an Aid, but it can't be something that is used to make life easier for everyone. for example, having a hand rail to grab, having a seat in your shower, having a wet room. I don't think socks count as they are designed for everyone and anyone to use them and don't specifically help you shower and count just the same as having a shower mat which many have.

    You need to have things that specifically are designed to help you, like walking aids, rails, lifts etc. Not everyday items or anyone could say anything is an aid really. Like I could say my computer chair is an aid, as it adjusts in height, or my bed is an aid because I sit on it to put socks and shoes on.

    My point being you could argue anything is an Aid, but only aids that are not everyday items and are designed to help you personally do the task easier. Also just a note but saying you put socks on and off after and before each time you shower might actually go against you.

    Hope this helps.
    Unfortunately this is not quite accurate. It’s a popular view but it’s a misreading of the Jacob’s case law. There are some circumstances where an aid must be designed explicitly for a disabled person e.g. a sat nav. However even that remains to be argued out because it arguably reduces the number of available aids to nil and that clearly wasn’t the intent of the legislation. In most cases though PIP does not require that an aid has been explicitly designed for a disabled person. Beds are a good example of this. A day lamp would be another. Lots of people have table lamps with bright bulbs. Few people need to use them during the day to aid their vision. The fact you’re using an ordinary every day item does not exclude it at all in every case. The key issue is broadly whether or not the aid enhances or replaces a function. 

    I’m struggling to see why non slip socks used in a shower would in any event be viewed as an ordinary purpose. However, the wider issue would be whether they score you anything. I don’t see that they do because they’re not an aid to washing. They’re an aid for getting in/out (I presume) and the only points available there are for needing assistance from another person. 
  • AellaAella Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Well my phone assessment just finished.  It was the worst assessment I've ever had.  The woman had a very strong accent, I could barely understand what she was saying.She was ignoring things I was saying and trying to catch me out.  She didn't ask relevant things and dismissed me when I brought them up, and kept asking me what I'd do in random scenarios that won't happen.  Like I have a walk in shower not a bathtub but she kept saying, "But IF you had a bathtub would you be able to get in and out?"  After being told I usually get accompanied by my mum who drives me around, "IF you were on a bus that broke down how would you get home," etc.
    Ans when I told her that my condition had improved in one aspect she acted like I'd lied.  When I filled out the form 7 months ago I wrote that I was unable to do any cooking but told her that had improved and I can now do basic stuff like microwaving.  She acted like I'd lied on the form.  Conditions can change you know?
    She didn't even ask me things that I thought they were meant to, like about whether I can plan a journey and travel there without help.  She kept trying to get me to change my answers too.  Like when I said I was unable to manage my own money due to serious overspending resulting in debt, so my mother now has control of my bank account.  She kept ignoring that and saying things like "but how do you manage your bank account?  Phone banking, going into branch or internet banking?"  And I was like,"I don't, my mum does that," and she kept refusing to take that for an answer and badgering me about how I manage my money.
    When I told her my mum now dishes my medication out to me as I kept forgetting to take it and there are so many pills now I can't keep track of them all she was ignoring that and trying to badger me and trick me into slipping out that I manage my own meds.  
    She also kept pressing for me to tell her when all of my previous medical appointments were, like what dates.  And I've had so many I can't remember when they all were.  Whenever I couldn't remember one she'd be like, "Well, 3 months ago?  4? "  No matter how many times I said I couldn't remember and she was saying things like, "Shall I just put 2 months ago?"  And eventually after feeling pressured to just say "OK" a few times eventually I said, "I really can't remember and I don't want to give false information," so I'm worried about being accused of lying if she puts down a particular date for a medical appointment and it turns out that wasn't the right date.
    She was really pushy about how often I leave the house.  She said I have to give her 4 examples of places I go.  But I only had three places - food shopping, medical appointments and out for walks in the park.  She was really pushy about trying to make me tell her a fourth place but I don't go anywhere else.
    And some of the questions were just weird.  After my stroke I'm really unbalanced and have fallen over and banged into things a lot, but apparently this is only relevant if it happens in the kitchen.  I haven't had any falls in the kitchen.  She made it sound like falls elsewhere don't count even though I regularly have them in the hallway and my bedroom.

    Do they record these calls because I feel like I might need some evidence as I don't think she was writing what I was saying.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hu 

    Sorry you dibt think it went well

    They are not recorded 

    The assessor doesn't write down what you said as you have put that in your form 

    They make a judgement on your functionality based on what you said it is their opinion rather than what you say 

    Some questions do seem random but are all linked to the descriptors 

    It does sound like she was being pushy with the questions she will have been trying to judge which points to recommend 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    A HCP has no obligation to write any of what you say. They are doing an assessment and can draw their own conclusions. 
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    I got points for using my bed as an aid, as it helps to lessen the fatigue I experience from getting dressed/I am unsteady on my feet standing up. 
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • AellaAella Member Posts: 13 Listener
    A HCP has no obligation to write any of what you say. They are doing an assessment and can draw their own conclusions. 
    I'm not sure I understand.  What do you mean they draw their own conclusions?  I'm worried the assessor wasn't listening or will outright lie.  For instance after my stroke I lost all the vision in the bottom right hand quadrant.  But the assessor said, "but you can see alright with glasses?"  And I explained that that vision is gone, glasses don't change that.  But she kept ignoring this and seemed to be making a note that I can see fine with glasses.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    You described it as the worst assessment you’ve ever had and say things you were saying were ignored and that you felt as though they were trying to catch you out. 

    I’m saying that it is not their role to listen to everything you say. Not everything you say will have been relevant no matter how important it was to you to say it. The loss of vision is a really good example of how you think they should be doing one thing but actually that’s not what they do. 

    Loss of vision in one quadrant in itself is not relevant. Describing the loss itself is not relevant. You can, for example, adjust your head position to compensate. You would need loads of detail or even medical knowledge to think that through. The only aspect of that loss of vision which is relevant is whether or not it stops you reliably performing any of the points scoring activities. Far from trying to catch you out they’re trying to get you to focus on the thing that matters and which scores you points. 
  • LeeA380LeeA380 Member Posts: 41 Connected
    I got 0 points for dressing and undressing as I thought crutches and/or needing to sit down to dress would have been sufficient to count as an aid - but apparently not.

    Lots of people sit down to dress, especially socks. That is not a disability, it is just a preference.

    In my MR, I mentioned that I need a sock slip/hook and I kind of hope this is the aid they are looking for (i should have mentioned that in my original application but thought crutches would suffice for every question).

    I am awaiting the decision of my MR - it has been about 8 weeks now.
  • AellaAella Member Posts: 13 Listener
    LeeA380 said:
    I got 0 points for dressing and undressing as I thought crutches and/or needing to sit down to dress would have been sufficient to count as an aid - but apparently not.

    Lots of people sit down to dress, especially socks. That is not a disability, it is just a preference.

    In my MR, I mentioned that I need a sock slip/hook and I kind of hope this is the aid they are looking for (i should have mentioned that in my original application but thought crutches would suffice for every question).

    I am awaiting the decision of my MR - it has been about 8 weeks now.
    In my case lying down to dress is not a preference but a necessity.  I literally cannot stand on one leg for even a moment without falling.  I have no balance at all.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger


    Loss of vision in one quadrant in itself is not relevant. Describing the loss itself is not relevant. You can, for example, adjust your head position to compensate. You would not need loads of detail or even medical knowledge to think that through. The only aspect of that loss of vision which is relevant is whether or not it stops you reliably performing any of the points scoring activities. Far from trying to catch you out they’re trying to get you to focus on the thing that matters and which scores you points. 
    Added in the missing word. The joys of sight loss. 
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