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Front door ramp

sha71ronsha71ron Posts: 3Member Listener
Hi All, I have moved into a new property, I was in a private rented bungalow before but my landlord needed it back for a family member. So I was rehoused by housing options to do with my disability. The bungalow had 1 small step into it, which I did struggle with as there wa support rail. In the new property there is 1 step up the flat for a bit, then 2 big steps up. I dread going out. I was assessed by an OT at the bungalow and on that they have said I don't need a door ramp. I was never assessed on this property but they won't reassess me for this property as they said I don't need it. They said they only do ramps for people in wheelchairs. So once again I'm house bound. When I moved to the bungalow 2 years ago I got freedom as I had a mobility scooter I spent more time out I didn't have to rely on anyone. But now I have trouble getting out the front door. My scooter is in the yard and I can't get out that way at all. As there is 2 big steps (bigger than the front) then an even larger 1 before I get to my scooter. Then another big step to get out the back gate. My husband has to lift my shoprider (scooter which very heavy) scooter down the step a big step bring it round the front and then help me out. Which i wont ask him to do unless i really have to. I was suppose to have a stairlift fitted as the wet room was upstairs but they said house wasn't suitable. So I have a bedroom downstairs and there suppose to be putting a wet room in downstairs (been waiting since 11th June 2018) we had only cold water in downstairs toilet but today (31st July) the hot water been add downstairs. So now I can have hot sink baths instead of cold. I have Arthritis and lung disease. I was wondering if there was any other way I could get a ramp put in so I could keep my scooter in the hall so I can still have my freedom back.

Replies

  • TreksterTrekster Posts: 14Member Connected
    Can you complain to health watch? They can help with cases regarding social services (which this counts as) and health. Is your mp any good? Can arthritis UK help with advocacy or to help you appeal their decision to refuse you a ramp? I thought it was illegal for you to be refused a home asesssment for social care needs? 
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi

    I am tagging this post for @Jean_Scope, who is an expert on all things, to do with Occupational Therapy.

    Hope this helps.
  • sha71ronsha71ron Posts: 3Member Listener
    My MP is helping with the shower situation as my local council told them that my downstairs shower has been completed. They haven't even started the shower room, the MP wasn't happy with this and wrote back to them on the 24th July and I'm waiting on the reply. My council told my MP I had been assessed  and I don't fit the criteria as I'm not in wheel chair so they've left it and that I excepted the property with the steps. But when then property was offered I was told you only get 1 offer (because it was emergency housing) and if I turned it down we were on our own. We were offered the property on the 9th June and signed for it on the 11th june we had to be out  by the 19th June of our old house and we had 2 young children to so we really had no choice but to except it. Because I've had 1 assessment they will not do another.
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Posts: 532Member Pioneering
    Hi @sha71ron

    Thanks for your post in my section of the community.

    I hear your frustration but unfortunately, I don't have any good news for you. Perhaps by sharing my experiences and knowledge it will help you to manage your expectations.

    It is probably best that you are aware of the limitations of the systems that are currently in place, so that you don't waste a lot of energy on complaints that are not going to go anywhere, and can instead focus your energy on the things that are most likely to get you the desired outcomes. 

    Wetroom - presumably this has been installed under the Disabled Facilities Scheme (DFG) or similar local arrangement that has regulations aligned to DFG ? In which case the local authority has 12 months from the date the work was formally agreed to completion of the work. Most local authorities do try to get the work completed within 12 months as it has implications for them if they don't (complaints to Local Government Ombudsman, etc) However, in the current climate of cuts we regularly hear of cases where the 12 month time-frame has been exceeded.

    WC - Not having access to hot water in the basin of the downstairs WC did need to be urgently addressed but this does seem to have been completed (according to your dates) in less than 2 months. To be honest this is within typical time-frames. 

    Scooter/ramps - as you are not a full-time wheelchair user it is highly unlikely that the Community Occupational Therapy Team will authorise ramped access for the entry points of your home. Occasionally, ramped access will be agreed for people who use a rollator (or similar) indoors and outdoors and who can't lift their feet (i.e. have a shuffling gait) especially if they have a condition that is predicted to rapidly progress and they will soon be a wheelchair user. 

    Obviously without being able to see you and your home in person I can not confidently say what adaptations the OT may be able to supply. However, on the basis of the limited information from your post I suspect that the most you would be likely to be assessed for at this time is grab rails at the external doorways to assist with the steps and/or what is known as a 'half step' to lessen the height that you need to lift your foot: 


    Obviously, it your mobility gets worse and you are assessed as needing a wheelchair by a NHS wheelchair clinic (your GP can refer you there) than the situation would be different and the OT would assess for ramped access.

    Facilitating the use of scooters is not within the remit of the community OT. Ramps to make it easier he you to move your scooter is something that you will need to arrange and fund yourself. If you are planning on permanent fixed ramps you will need your landlords permission. However, there are a wide range of temporary and portable ramps available, for examples see:  https://www.completecareshop.co.uk/wheelchair-and-access-ramps/

    It isn't always easy for people to know what will be the best and safest ramp for them and their circumstances, so you may need to take advice. Mobility shops can often advise and if it would be helpful I can find you some links to information about safe gradients etc. Sometimes people with limited financial means are able to get a grant from a charity to assist with purchasing disability related equipment.

    Scope doesn't give grants but there is a search tool on the Scope website which may assist in identifying appropriate charities: https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/search-grants

    Assessment - It sounds as if it would be helpful if you could get an OT to come to your home to discuss with you: your needs, what adaptations are already happening, what might be possible in the future and the time-scales you can expect.

    However, I am also aware that OT teams across the country are struggling to meet demand and so there is quite a lot of 'gate-keeping' happening. People are calling to request assessment and not getting past the 'gate-keeper' who is often an admin person rather than an OT. Certainly I have known some people being told that they are not eligible to be assessed despite the fact that they clearly should be covered by the Care Act 2014 (for more information on the Care Act see:    https://www.scie.org.uk/care-act-2014/assessment-and-eligibility/eligibility/keymessages.asp )  

    If you have had a recent assessment (within 12 months) and there hasn't been a significant change in your condition you are unlikely to be a priority for assessment. If you call requesting an assessment and the 'gate-keeper' gets the impression that the only reason for the request is for something that falls outside of the OT's remit (like scooter access) then they will probably refuse an assessment. 

    To get an assessment it might be best to focus your request on your change of circumstances (house move) and stressing that your functional ability has got significantly worse since you were last assessed. It might be best not to mention the scooter when requesting an assessment. You can also ask your GP to request an assessment on your behalf.

    You mentioned that installation of a downstairs wetroom has been agreed for your property and it had been determined that the property had been found unsuitable for a stair-lift. To be honest I don't see how these decisions could have been reached without the involvement of an OT. So I'm wondering if they are already familiar with the property, perhaps they surveyed it before you moved in, using information about your needs from your previous assessment?

    Hope this helps to clarify things, do come back to me if you have additional questions.

    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

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