020 8807 0702
020 8807 0702
Recently a gentleman contacted me with regards to the mobility equipment needs for his father. His Father being a left leg amputee, below the knee. His father was 81 and had a prosthetic limb. His father lived alone in a 2-storey house, however he had recently moved to a room downstairs which has now become his bedroom.
The referral had come via a very close friend of mine and naturally I wished to help in the best way I possibly could. As the young man spoke to me he described the downstairs of his home and the kitchen and the bathroom and his fathers living space.
Although I was able to build a picture of the space there was no way that I could accurately see issues like dangers in the bathroom such as the height and edge of the wash basin, the height and approach angles to the toilet. The edges in the kitchen and the condition of the floor or whether there was any obvious trip or slip hazards in these spaces. I was also concerned about potential slips and falls in the bathroom.
The young man suggested that he would go to a local mobility retailer with a very large range of equipment and have a look for equipment that he felt his father would need. I am confident that the mobility retailer would have asked many relevant questions and identified some level of suitability with the mobility aids that they had in store.
However, what really became apparent to me and ironically crystal clear was actually the lack of clarity about his fathers precise domiciliary environment. Which even through detailed conversation, one could not possibly decipher.
What I did know though was that his father being a proud and independent man with a strong will would clearly need aids and equipment that would allow him to remain independent yet reduce the risk of harm.
I should also point out that his father had already been provided some equipment that he was entitled to from the local authority, and the family had already been down the GP referral pathway, yet his father was still struggling with some basic activities like getting up and out of bed amongst a few other issues.
As a stage one, I advised the young man to research into a Private OT that would carry out a thorough assessment of his father domiciliary environment. The OT should be independent of any retailers or equipment companies and regulated by HCPC Health and Care Professions Council. There is some essential tips to Find an occupational therapist on the RCOT website too.
Armed with the tips and guidelines to identify a suitable shortlist of OT’s I then advised the young man to go to the online directory and using the relevant filters make a list and contract suitable OT’s for his father.
A private OT will be able to assess his father’s domiciliary environment and very specifically assess all the risks and needs in that space and create a list of suitable equipment. Armed with this the young man could then call a mobility supplier or pop into a local trusted Pharmacy Retailer or even a mobility store and start to source the needed equipment and aids.