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How do we get started searching for care and adaptations?

jmcjmc Posts: 4Member Listener
My mother is 83yrs and has recently had an unplanned leg amputated after a health complication.

Where do we start?
Help available to support her physical and mental.needs?
Adaptions to the house?
Any funding or benefits available.

All.advice welcomed

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @jmc, thanks for sharing this with us.

    Hopefully our OT Jean will be able to advise on care and adaptations, but in the meantime, the online benefits calculator may be a good starting point in terms of seeing what benefits you may be eligible for. You can also find an overview of the different benefits on this page. Have a look, and do come back to us with any questions!
  • jmcjmc Posts: 4Member Listener
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 171Member Pioneering
    Hi @jmc

    I'm sorry to hear your mother has had to have such a big op at 83, it must be a lot for her and you to contend with...

    Your mother won't be/shouldn't have been discharged from hospital without everything in place to make sure she can manage... Her GP should have or should be referring her for an OT [occupational therapist] assessment in the home at the very least.

    There are specialist amputee charities which might have useful information e.g. www.limbless-association.org

    And there might also be a local branch of something like Age Concern who might be able to help too.

    The quality of charities does vary but they might be worth a shot.

    I hope you can find some sources of support which help you and your mother to readjust.

    Best wishes.

    Emma
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Posts: 532Member Pioneering
    Hi @jmc

    So sorry to read of your mother's situation.

    You have already received some good advice, and some that perhaps need clarification. At a time like this there is often so much to do and think about, so it can be hard to know what to do first. Here are my thoughts in terms of priority.

    •  Discharge from Hospital - It isn't clear from your post if your mother has been discharged from hospital yet. If not it is important that the discharge happens in a planned and organised way so that the necessary care and equipment is arranged in advance, see:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/care-after-a-hospital-stay/arranging-care-before-you-leave-hospital/  Unfortunately, we know in reality that the system doesn't always run as smoothly as it should, so you might need to work closely with the hospital staff to ensure that things are put in place. The hospital have responsibility for the discharge planning and should formerly hand over to community based services at the appropriate time. Therefore, the community OT should have been briefed by the hospital OT involved with the discharge. Seamless handovers don't necessarily always happen but you are at liberty to contact the community OT yourself, you do not need a GP referral to do so. However, it is obviously important that your mother's GP is 'kept in the loop' as they can advocate and will most likely be the person that is eventually pivotal in ensuring her medical/clinical needs are addressed. If she will be/is receiving care arranged or funded by the local authority you can also deal with them direct. If your mother has already been discharged and you have specific issues related to this I am happy to advise further.
    • After Hospital - depending on your mother's assessed needs she is likely to continue receiving some NHS services to assist with her rehabilitation. Possibly the District Nurse to assist with wound management and Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy aimed at helping her regain her skills and independence as much as possible considering her age and general health.
    • Home Adaptations - Your mother's house should have been assessed for it's suitability to her needs prior to her going home. Hopefully minor adaptations and equipment (potential examples include: handrails and a commode) will have been sorted out. But it would be unusual for any necessary major adaptations (structural stuff, such as: wetroom, permanent ramp, extension, lift etc) to be done prior to discharge unless there is a very long discharge planning period. Major adaptations will be assessed for and arranged by the Community OT, and depending on circumstances potentially funded via a Disabled Facilities Grant :  https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/disabled-facilities-grant
    • Benefits - if your mother doesn't already have a pre-existing claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Attendance Allowance  (AA) then you should apply for AA for her. AA is for people aged over 65 who require assistance with the basic activities of daily living. It is not means-tested. For details of how to claim:  https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance . In addition those caring for someone in receipt of a qualifying benefit may be eligible for Carer's Allowance: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance  Some people who have a low income, and limited savings, may also be entitled to other benefits and the Scope benefits calculator is useful for checking this out: https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/benefits/check 
    • Council Tax - You should also check out if she qualifies for a reduction in Council Tax Band. This can be the case if a person needs to live in a house that is bigger than they would otherwise need because of their disability (i.e. maybe  they need extra space to move around in their wheelchair): https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-for-disabled-people
    • Some charities give grants towards the cost of items needed due to disability. On the Scope website there is a grant search tool which you can use to identify charities to apply to: https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/search-grants Grants are normally means-tested and require professional endorsement  
    •  A blue parking badge may be helpful: https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge 
    Further Information and Support.

    If you have further questions please do post on this community again, alternatively you can contact the Scope Helpline: call 0808 800 3333 or email [email protected] Also:
    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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