Story of an adaptation
Frank and Brenda contacted our office because Brenda was struggling in the home and
they heard about our service through a close neighbour who had used us the previous
With osteoarthritis and a heart condition making Brenda breathless she could barely
manage the stairs. She had to take one step very slowly at a time using both of her
hands and stopped frequently to catch her breath. She also could not get in and out
of the bath without Frank’s help.
The couple had discussed moving to a bungalow but they were fond of their surroundings,
having lived in the area for decades. They lived close to their GP, local amenities
and social club, where they occasionally met with friends, also their daughter dropped
by on route from work. The prospect of moving home was daunting.
Our Caseworker Suzanne visited the couple at home that week and they discussed the
difficulties and possible solutions. Having decided to stay put, the couple were
keen to retain the full use of the home and so decided against a ground floor extension.
It was suggested they knock the separate WC and bathroom into one larger wc/shower
room, then to fit a stairlift. The staircase turned halfway and so required a curved
track lift, providing it was practical to fit one. Not all staircases are suitable.
As an addition if feasible, Mr & Mrs B wanted a downstairs cloakroom to be created
in a utility area behind the kitchen.
Suzanne arranged an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment to be certain the desired
measures would improve Mrs B’s situation in the long term. The OT visited and agreed
the desired measures were advisable although they did explore the potential to fit
a through floor lift, this option would use up floor space in a small dining room.
The OT ascertained that a custom built stairlift would fit the curve of the stairs
and that Mrs B had no physical difficulties to make riding a lift unsuitable. She
assessed Mrs B in the bathroom to ensure the layout of the new room would be suitable
and recommended a level access into the shower area, with a fold down shower seat
and a shower unit positioned to ensure Mrs B could reach the controls from a seated
position. Mrs B had a left sided weakness and so the unit would be placed on the
right hand side.
IHS Surveyor Errol visited the couple to discuss the design and to take measurements.
He looked at the feasibility of siting the ground floor WC in the utility area. Errol
worked on the designs and sent copies to Frank and Brenda and to the OT for their
comments. Once the brief was agreed a schedule of works was drawn up, a contractor
pricing session was arranged at the property. Mr & Mrs B met three potential contractors
chosen from the IHS vetted list, the work was discussed first hand and the contractors
were invited to provide a fixed price quotation for the bathroom and downstairs WC
work. Two stairlift companies were asked to visit on a separate occasion.
A contractor was chosen and work commenced within three weeks. A contract was drawn
up between the clients and the contractor, materials were sourced to ensure the design
was truly personal to the couple and when it was all finished, Brenda had full access
to a lovely shower and was able to get up and down the stairs without being distressed.
She said “Everyone was so thoughtful, they respected our wishes. The builder was
tidy and minimised disruption. It was a glorious feeling to shower in private without
having to ask Frank to help me. The tiles are beautiful. Thank you everyone!”
The Story of an adaptation that needed a rethink
Mrs W is quite elderly, lives alone, suffers with advanced Parkinson 's disease and
is profoundly deaf. She gets around her first floor maisonette using a wheeled frame
and is fortunate to have visiting daily carers who she trusts and really gets along
well with. The main thing missing from her life was that she was trapped in her home
and the only respite was from these lovely carers popping in and an occasional visit
from her sister.
She needed a stair lift but could not afford to pay for one to be installed. A visit
by our caseworker started the process of helping her to apply for a disabled facilities
grant to fund her stairlift. The process went very smoothly and within weeks the
stairlift was installed, paid for by the grant.
We thought that was a good job well done, but the carers contacted us again shortly
after, expressing their concern for Mrs W's safety. It seems that the wheeled walking
frame was snagging in the threadbare carpet causing Mrs W to stumble. The wheels
were getting snagged in the threads of the carpet or were rucking it up, such was
its state. She was finding it increasingly difficult to move around safely because
the problem was in the bedroom, the lounge and even the hallway between the two rooms.
Our caseworker started to look around for charitable help. It took quite a bit of
searching as no ordinary grant would pay for such a thing as a new carpet, but we
could not ignore the plea to help!
We found £800 through a local "allotment" fund based in Chobham and then we dug into
our rather limited hardship fund to come up with sufficient money to order a new
carpet for her.
On the day of the fitting, the fitters even moved and replaced all of the furniture
during their work so that this lovely lady had nothing to worry about. We took a
call from the carers the day after, over the moon that their client was once again
safe in her own home.
The Story of a young child in Bookham
This is the extension we have just completed in Bookham.
It is for a young child who needs a ground floor bedroom with an en-suite wet room.