Help issues with OT

I have had osteoarthritis in both knees and cervical spondylosis in neck for 25 years now. My knees were so painful and only became worse. I have osteophyes and have had these removed a few times, although my knees still lock up.

Around 10 years ago I started with severe intermittent pain in my lumber spine and the pain was extreme, within one year the pain never went away and when walking I would only take 15 steps or so and the pain was intolerable, with spasms. I bought a rollator and found this help with my ability to walk with my knees and was a place to sit and quickly when the lumbar pain went to extreme, it relieved it some. I had all the test and it was DDD,

Over that period I had OA develop in every joint and needed my toe operating in due to it becoming misshapen m tows have all spread and the ball of my foot is always sore and painful. I can not longer do hand-writing or prepare certain vegetables and such due ti wrists and OA in all fingers and thumbs.

I have tried every treatment available and take Tramadol. I have had Morphine and Codeine but the side effects of drowsiness caused me to fall and I am awaiting an operation for an injury that was caused by one of my falls. I do get very low in mood, due to the constant pain.

I moved to a bungalow that belongs to a HA and it is lovely. I fond I could not use the bath and so had a OT visit and got automatic bath chair. I could not understand why the chair would only go down a little and I was not submerged in the water but more laying on top. I had an over the bath showers and managed to use the chair for the pain I was in and have some water in the bath to soak my feet in.

I then had a OT suggest I have a walk in shower and stool fitter and this was done, but never worked correctly and flooded into my hallway when I used the shower. I had someone come out and she said it was fine because she ran the shower with the curtain across and no water came for underneath. I explained no-one was moving around in the shower and that was why it was not flooding. I was basically 'fobbed off' at a time when my pain was constantly flaring up and I was depressed. I let it go and used the disabled shower at the leisure centre once a week.

Apart from the shower still flooding it is not longer usable by me, my mobility and inability to stand is so bad that I cannot stand without support and cannot get on and off the shower chair which does not have arms, the shower head does not reach to the chair and I would have to hold that in my hand to shower and I cannot do that and use shower gel without getting up and down. I go weeks without washing my hair, due to pain and so my self-care is very poor.

I had realised after the walk-in shower was fitted and on visiting a friends whose automatic bath chair went to the bottom of her bath that I had had a P-shaped bath which the previous tenant had fitted and so the bath part was narrow and to narrow for a standard bath chair. I asked if I could have a standard size bath installed so that with a chair it would be much more suitable for me to self-care. I would not have to stand and would not be afraid of falling and I wold not have to try to raise myself on and off the shower chair.

This is well over a year ago and the HA have said they will reinstall a bath proving I have an up to date OT assessment and the OT assistant I have refuses to do this due to there being no medical need. I am so shocked. The disability resource team he works for the manager became involved in the last few days so since last Wednesday and she says his is right I have not medical need. Yet that OT assistant had told me to get a letter off my GP in March for the HA and he said he had posted it but the HA did not receive it and then just last seek he said my HA wanted an up to date GP letter, so I rang them to ask what info they needed and they said the GP letter (which was scanned through in August) was fine and the system was asking for an OT assessment.

I am sorry this is so long but this last few weeks have been intense and it is obvious the OT assistant appears to have been omit information and having me ringing and waiting days for his reply. Listening to him repeat about the flooding, which he seems fixed on and even though I have told him that even if the shower did not flood it is not accessible for me.

I do not know what to do now. I ma depressed and feel I have been messed around and ignored for so long that I would usually have 'given up by now' and carried on with my strip washes, which is all I have done for a long time now. I wash my hair, when I can, quickly in the kitchen sink. I never feel clean and when I said to the manager of the disability team about the hot water in a bath helping my muscles and ligament's she replied 'You cannot have a bath put in just for your comfort, you have to have medical reasons'. She said my conditions are not on the criteria list and she will send me a copy, at my request and she will have another OP call in 4/6 weeks but it wold be highly unlikely that it will result in a recommendation for a bath, This is the council and the HA have agreed to pay for the bath being installed and yet the council manager is saying an OT will not recommend a bath.

I am so lost for I thought it was what was best for the individual and their needs to self-care and to feel safe and not suffer through using the wrong equipment, Any advice or links to any legislation that covers this type of issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The spread of your OA is somewhat similar to mine, I have it more or less everywhere, use crutches to get about indoors and a wheelchair outside. It took me over a year to get my HA to remove the bathroom and install a wet room which has a raised loo with drop down bars and a seated shower also with drop down bars. The reason it took so long was that it was the Council's OT that had to recommend it as, although the HA organised the work they had a grant from the Council to do it. Rather convoluted but they have their systems. What swung it for me was that I live alone and I repeatedly told them that I kept falling when trying to get into the bath to have a shower and that I could not have a bath as I could not sit in it and get out on my own.

    Occupational Therapist Responsibilities:

    • Conducting physical and psychological assessments of clients and developing or following a treatment plan.
    • Assessing home and work environments of clients and deciding what adjustments are needed.
    • Advising on adaptive equipment to help clients with daily activities.
    • Developing physical rehabilitation programs to help clients regain lost skills.
    • Preparing clients for a return to work.
    • Educating caregivers and family members of clients on patient care.
    • Evaluating results and progress of occupational therapy on clients.
    • Maintaining professional knowledge and technical progress in order to provide clients with the best treatment program available.
    • Evaluating patient condition regarding physical and basic mental health.

    It is very evident that you have not been supported by your OT properly as not being able to keep yourself clean easily has a detrimental effect on both your physical and mental health. All I can suggest is that you keep plugging away at them and state that you have fallen several times and are scared. Try getting someone from your local CAB to help fight your corner, failing that there are also self-employed OT's out there that would be able to write a report for you although this may cost a bit. Good luck.

  • Dear Cazmarelda

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. I am so sorry to hear that you are in pain and feeling low. Also, that you have had so many problems with your OT assessment and the issues that you have had to deal with. As Mike1 has suggested contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau to get support and speak about your rights seems like a way forward. The link to the Citizens Advice website is below and you can put in your postcode to find your local CAB. We also have some information on knowing your rights regarding social care and I have put the link below for this information also.

    You have spoken about the pain you are in due to your arthritis, can you speak to your GP again about your pain relief for a review of this if your current pain relief isn’t helping? There is a link below for managing pain for arthritis. You have also said about feeling low and depressed. Speaking to your GP so they can provide you with the support you need may be helpful, there is a link below to our information on emotional wellbeing.

    I hope that this information is helpful. I would like to encourage you to call us here on the helpline so you can talk through things with one of our helpline team. You can call us on 0800 5200 520 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).

    Know your rights: Social care (

    Managing your pain | Treatments and self-help (

    Emotional wellbeing | Support, self-help | Versus Arthritis

    Best Wishes