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Access visit

I think I mentioned some weeks ago that my wife was in hospital, she’s still there, but could possibly be emerging on 11th April.

To this end, I had a (planned) access visit from the hospital’s OT to assess any potential problems and what equipment might be needed to make life easier.

When she went into hospital (3.2.18) she couldn’t weight bear at all and was fairly floppy when sitting unsupported. The weight bearing is improving, but I don’t yet know by how much, this obviously can have huge impact on what is possible with regard to transfers and thus what is required in the way of equipment.

It had already been decided that a hospital type bed would be required and that our old double bed would have to go and a new single bed purchased for me.

The access visit came and went and all passed pleasantly (as you would expect). It is difficult however to assess all of my wife’s near future needs as her physio is still progressing and some things are definitely improving.

I asked about the dimensions of the new bed during the access visit but apart from a width of “about 1 metre” it was unknown.

There wasn’t going to be a lot of time to mess about and myself and the OT kept missing each others phone calls which I’d been making in an effort to establish the size of the wife’s new bed.

I ordered a new bed for myself and established a delivery date and I did then manage to get hold of the OT and inform her of the delivery date which would in turn enable the hospital (or whoever) to deliver the wife’s new bed.Then she dropped the bombshell of the bed’s size: it’s only actually 3’0" wide, but it’s 7’4" long!

I’ve made a scale drawing of our bedroom and card cutouts of all the furniture in there, two beds, two bedside cabinets and a dressing table.(I’m a carpenter and I’ve done this several times for new kitchens etc, and I know what I’m doing in this respect). The bedroom is not particularly small at 15’ X 11’ although the fitted wardrobes take some of that away along the 15’ length making it only about 15’ X 9’.

It just doesn’t all fit, unless we stop using the fitted wardrobes and lose the dressing table.

Next step is to establish which features of the hospital bed are essential and go back to the bed shop and see what they have that might be a sensible size.

So what was the point of the access visit when the only known piece of proposed equipment doesn’t fit?

Hi Ayjay

This sounds like a bit of a disaster. Obviously you don’t know precisely what equipment will be needed, but it sounds like the OT may have been pleasant, but clueless.

If s/he’s organised a bed that basically won’t fit in the room (obviously you need to fit yourself in there somewhere too!), then it sounds like you need some better advice from the OT department.

And if you don’t yet know how/if she’s going to be able to transfer, that’s another big headache. Like, if she can’t weight bear at all, then will you have a hoist? Do you already have a bathroom that’s suitably adapted? I know she already had significant mobility problems, but at least could transfer.

You certainly have your work cut out for you. I think you deserve a medal for everything you manage to do.

I hope that you manage to get it all sorted out.

Sue

Yes, the OT is quite young, and definitely clueless to some extent. I can’t comprehend how can she make an access visit without knowing the size of the equipment being proposed.

They’ve not needed to use the hoist on my wife for two or three weeks now, but do still need two people to assist with transfers, this has to come down to just one person for when it’s only me available at home, (still some core strength required from the wife).

As part of a very hectic day yesterday I did get to talk to our local bedshop and their hospital type beds are 6’3" or 6’6".

**Yesterday: following a phone call the previous day from our son, (he’s got terminal car problems and is coming up on the train, 250 miles) “Can you pick me up at the station at 13:45?” I had a doctors appointment at 10:10, spent most of the morning prior to that sat on the toilet as I have far too often in the previous few weeks - hence the doc. appt.

He requests a stool sample and blood tests asap. To the bedshop, and then home for a poo and spoon some (yes!), (three cheers for some judiciously placed cling-film) into a sample bottle and then off to hospital to join the queue for blood tests, take ticket No.79, now seeing No. 43. 90 minutes later I’m free, and have a half hour spare to buy some milk for the wife who has requested that she goes back to her own muesli mix and lacto-free milk for her breakfast.

Collect son from station and head off to our local, (and fortunately very reputable car dealer), son takes a test drive, Dad parts with the best part of 9K, and we head off home to lose one vehicle before visiting wife/ mother in hospital, away from there by 7.30 pm and to the pub for a pint and a burger for dinner. Put the wife’s laundry in the washing machine, also wash, boil and disinfect spoon, watch an hour of telly and off to bed, knackered - one of my symptoms, (apart from the interminable bog sitting) believe it or not, is feeling lethargic most of the time!

This sorry saga continues. The Standaid requested by the hospital OT dept arrived here at home last week (Tuesday) and a home visit complete with wife was arranged for the Wednesday to try it out in situ, but they couldn’t make the equipment work well with my wife.

They took it (and the wife, who was crying when she left) back to the hospital to carry on playing with it and have now decided today that they are going for a hoist instead.

The Standaid they ordered was the only model available from Equipment Services and I already knew that it wouldn’t fit through our bathroom door to enable access to the shower.

According to the OT dept, that’s not a problem cos she can just have a strip-wash for the rest of her life!

I’m beginning to wonder what the implications would be if I just said that I’m taking her home. At a guess they would then wash their hands of the whole situation, (which probably won’t work out best for us in the end).