Occupational Therapy Assessment/Flat Adaptations

KPC1984 Member Posts: 3
edited 13. Apr 2019, 05:36 in Living with arthritis
Hi Folks,

I’m brand new to this forum, so hello everyone and I hope you can bare with me.

I suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis (all over), Osteoarthritis (knees) and Spondyloarthropathy (spine). I’ve recently moved into a brand newly built flat and under my contract, the landlord/housing association will not allow to make any modifications to the flat without a report from an Occupational Therapist confirming my needs. As it happens, the Occupational Therapist is due out next month.

I live in a two-bedroom flat (one room for carer). I have a bathroom (bath only) a living room and a kitchen. Due to currently having no adaptations and not being able to currently use the bathroom, the cooker etc I rely on family members to help me shower/cook me dinner etc.

I was hoping to get help from people whom have already been through the assessment, know what to expect and could very kindly answer the following questions:

1) What kind of physical assessment should I expect?

2) What adaptations can and can’t they provide you with?

3) Has anyone found one adaption more beneficial than another?

4) What is the maximum amount of money they can allocate for the adaptations?

5) Has anyone upgraded and what is the general process involved?

6) If I decided to upgrade (through my own pocket) is it usually a simple case of paying the difference between the money allocated for the adaptions and money out of my own pocket?

Sorry for so many questions but the though of this is increasing my anxiety and my general mental health.

I’m also hoping other people could share their experiences. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope this post will help other people as well.

Many thanks,



  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome KPC1984 to Versus Arthritis Community Forum

    Sorry to read of your difficulties with arthritis, I feel you have come to the right place to gain some good support and advice around your possible changes to your accommodation. OT assessments can be a daunting and worrying thing to go through, but they are done for your benefit and you are allowed to voice your concerns through the process.

    We have had several forum users who have gone through this process in differing ways and I feel sure they are a good place to offer support, help and advice, I've left 3 links that may be of help to you.



    Please feel to telephone Versus Arthritis Helpines Mon-Fri 9am-8pm (the number is at the head of the page) for further support.


    Enjoy the forum.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,293
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is so difficult and I'm not sure how useful I, or indeed anyone else, can be as I'm fairly confident that each area has its own system.

    I used to live in Yorkshire and, about 40 years ago, when we moved in to that bungalow, I was given a wheelchair, a bath lift and a raised toilet seat. The bath lift was very trustworthy if incredibly cumbersome. When it finally croaked after about 25 years I had a succession of lighter models that rarely lasted more than 2-3 years.

    We moved to Scotland 2-3 years ago and the wait, just for an assessment for a new bath lift, was 6 months. I said I was happy to buy one and they came round very quickly (No paperwork involved) to measure up, bring catalogues and help me to decide on a suitable one.

    Last year I decided I really needed a walk-n shower as the bath was really a bit too high for me. Even with the bath lift I wasn't independent. I rang to ask for advice but they immediately offered to arrange the whole thing and pay all but 20%. It's been fabulous. I'd never go back.


    As I say, I think practice differs all over the place. I do know, for a fact, that, back in Yorkshire, they would provide 'cheaper' stuff (ie loo seats, grab rails, grabber sticks etc) free but anything more expensive, such as bathroom adaptations, was means tested. Also, with our recent bathroom adaptations here in Scotland, we had to let them see the house deeds and we had to undertake not to sell the house for, I think, five years. Fair enough.

    So I can't really answer your questions. I think it will all depend on how they do things at your end. I wish you the best of luck and am here to try to help if you feel I can.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I too have PsA and OA but have not had anything done via the council, I've paid for stuff myself to have things that suit me rather than a a one-size-fits-all. Have you thought about contacting your CAB? They might well have better information than we can provide. I wish you well. DD
  • KPC1984
    KPC1984 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you most kindly for the replies John, Stickywicket and dreamdaisy. I live in Northern Ireland and the OT referral was done by my local GP.

    Thank you for the links John. I’ve had a good read through and some concerns and questions I had have now been answered.
    Like you stickywicket I’ve previously been given things from the hospital but as it’s things like not having a proper shower that’s the problem. Like you also, I’ve had to wait over 6 months for mine and the wait is nothing but frustrating. The bath that I have will likely be ripped out so I can have a walk-in shower.

    What you said is the crux of the problem I have. I know that mine is means tested as I don’t have to pay for some of it and that’s why I was hoping to have heard from people whom have already been through the process and carried out the upgrades (if need be).

    Dreamdaisy – not sure what you mean by one size fits all but assume from what you’ve said, you’ve had adaptations measured rather than using standard size adaptations? Yes I have tried them but their knowledge is limited so asking people whom would have more knowledge 😊
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What I meant was that they have limited options available for fixtures and fittings (and rightly so, this all comes from the public purse) but by funding it myself I have been able to choose longer grab rails in the shower, a better quality fold-down shower seat, a nicer-looking collapsible wheelchair, pretty crutches etc., and other stuff that suits my height and build. I have a raised toilet seat with lid which I purchased online for under £25 and that goes away with me. I am in the fortunate position of having an inheritance and no-one to leave anything to so I might as well use it to make my remaining years as comfortable as possible.

    Back in my early days Social Services gave me a bath board to enable me to sit for a shower (which proved to be useless as my knees did not bend enough to allow me to sit on it) and a Mowbray raised toilet seat and frame (which, for obvious reasons, became known as 'Pork'.) When we moved we refurbished a bathroom and installed a much higher toilet so Pork was made redundant. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,293
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Here's how it went with my bathroom adaptation.

    I asked for guidance as I felt, correctly, that they would know better than I what I needed. And far better than a salesman who would only be interested in what was best for him.

    The Social services chap was brilliant. My problems are fairly obvious and I told him on my concerns – mainly my inability to turn most taps and my fear that a fold down seat would be too low and / or a bit precarious. And slipping as many of my foot joints are rigid and I have a huge ball of bone under one foot so not much of it actually has contact with the ground.

    They chose an extremely easy push-button control for the electric shower and arranged with me the height at which the control should go bearing in mind I'd be seated. The electricity itself is switched on at the door with a simple pull cord. They chose the type of flooring and tiles but I had a big choice of colours. They also put me in a higher loo so that I no longer need a raised loo seat and would have given me a new washbasin but I preferred the old one as it has a cupboard, the top of which is useful for my toothbrush, toothpaste etc. I was given a long list of potential contractors and asked to select three possibles but, as I didn't know any, I left it up to them. The chap who was doing it was brilliant. A real workaholic who clearly took pride in his work.

    It was all done, including bath removal, while we were on holiday. We came home to a lovely new bathroom and I just had to ring them again so that they could arrange to bring the shower seat (a high, free-standing, very stable one) and the grab rails to be fitted with my input as to where. When the man came with these, and saw how I would use them he immediately went back to his van to bring a longer one to see if that would be better. It certainly was for one wall. Not quite so aesthetically pleasing but much safer. So they went up exactly how I wanted them.

    I've never looked back. I love it. I can shower independently every morning. They even provided a shower curtain. My only addition had been to jettison their small soap dish in favour of a free-standing, floor-to-ceiling shower tidy at the far end right out of my way. I use the bottom tray of it and the others are for Mr SW and guests.
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The OTs that came to see me when I moved into my bungalow 5 years ago were brilliant. Social Services put in a wet room with a raised WC with drop-down bars either side and grab rails where I needed them. A perch stool for the kitchen, a riser recliner for the lounge and other bits and bobs to help me out as I live alone. The only thing they would not provide although they recommended it was monkey bars over the bed to help me get in and out of it, apparently they don't issue them on the grounds of health and safety but they did tell me where to get one and now I would not be without it.