Through the floor lifts

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by tre, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Does anyone have any experience of these. My husband's mobility has declined dramatically in the past few months and I am now having to use a wheelchair for most trips outside the home. This week the daycare manager rang me to advise that they were going to bring a wheelchair for him to use when the bus takes him to daycare. Only a couple of months back he was able to climb the steps onto the bus, albeit assisted by two carers. Then this became impossible so they had to use the hydraulic platform. Now we are experiencing problems getting him to transfer from a sitting to standing position. All of this is making me face up to the fact that he likely is going to be needing to use a wheelchair actually around the home soon which will mean we need to devise a way of getting upstairs.
    One of the carers I know who I see occasionally at the AS carers group has his wife in a wheelchair and is currently having a downstairs extension planned so all the facilities needed for her care will be on hand. But he told me his LA, this is different from ours as although we only live a few miles apart we are in different counties, had suggested a through the floor lift.
    Having looked at these I wonder if this might work for us. Currently I assist my husband up and down the stairs (only once daily) but recently everytime my heart is in my mouth wondering whether we will make it.
    Our case is currently open with a SW allocated as we are being recommended for a fourth day at the daycare.
    I saw there was another post regarding stairlifts but I think this would not work for my husband as he is blind and anyway the transfer would be a nightmare. I want to do anything I can to care for him at home.
    Tre
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,586
    Female
    Dundee
    Sorry, I have no experience of these but I wondered if you have anywhere locally you might go and see these. I know it is best to have experience and advice from others but it could also be useful to see them. Our local occupational therapy service has a centre where you can go and see a variety of things like disabled access showers before you decide what you actually need. I don't know if they have these lifts but I feel they might have. It's called an independent living centre.
     
  3. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    #3 bemused1, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    Have you had an occupational therapist review him lately? Without knowing you circumstances are you eligible for a disabled facilities grant?
    Speaking personally I could foresee any number of problems with a through the floor lift for a pwd.
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,024
    Male
    North Manchester
    I would first look at the dimensions of the lifts and see if there is a suitable place in your house to position one, they take up quite a lot of floor space both upstairs and downstairs and the two spaces must be vertically aligned.

    There are two basic sizes:-
    Ones with a seat
    [​IMG]

    and ones that take a wheelchair
    [​IMG]

    It's essential that they are correctly installed so that either the trapdoor (lift downstairs) or the lift itself (lift upstairs) maintains a 30 minute fire integrity.
     
  5. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    That is a good idea Izzy. Perhaps the SW will know. There is Herts Action on Disability but I did not notice anything like that when I last went there but I do have a phone number for them and I know they have OTs on hand to advise on stuff like chairs so I will give them a call.
    I think David would be absolutely miserable in residential care because his lack of vision means he relies so much on his hearing and he hates loud and unexpected noise and he also hates hearing people shouting or upset. I think I have been a bit in denial about how much things have deteriorated recently out of fear that some crisis will occur and I will fail to manage it on my own.
    I was frightened of how I would cope with incontinence but there have been a few incidents and I have managed OK. He is currently continent as long as I ensure he is toiletted regularly.
    The stairs, however, are a different issue. I help him up from behind and coming down go backwards in front of him. The OT saw this at his last assessment but he was much more steady then. Sometimes now he freezes in the middle, or takes his hands off the rails or forgets how to step up or down so I have to gently guide his leg whilst speaking to him quiet words of encouragement, but I have nightmare visions of us both in a tangled heap at the bottom, probaby both with broken bones. I have osteoporosis.
    I guess I have to admit all this to the SW and see what she suggests.
    Tre
     
  6. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Thanks both. The wheelchair type is what I was thinking of. My aunt cared for my uncle who had a stroke some fifteen years ago and one was installed in their house which is a bit smaller than ours. It is now removed since he died but I guess it is not maybe the size of the property but how everything lines up.
    I am unsure whether they are recommended for dementia sufferers. I certainly would not think it was safe for anyone ever left unattended in the home but David needs to be cared for one to one 24/7. All the controls would need to be outside the lift as he would be unable to manage them.
    I know nothing about a disabled facilities grant.
    Tre
     
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,586
    Female
    Dundee
    I think you would get a referral to OT through your GP. I find them a very helpful service. She came to the house and walked all round it to see what we might need. She also watched me position Bill in the hospital bed he got through the District Nurse service.

    Like you I intend to all that is possible at home to keep Bill here.
     
  8. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    #8 bemused1, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    Aidisabled facilities grant will cover things like converting the downstairs, putting in extra things such as as a wetroom or minor building works to adapt. It is means tested but depending on your circumstances it can be applied for people with dementia. We were put forward for one but finished up paying for our adaptions ourselves cos we're rolling in it (not).
    Always worth asking for it but definitely ask for a review with your ot
    As Izzy said you can access the ot via your gp and it might be quicker than via sw.
     
  9. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Like you bemused we are probably not eligible. However David's savings are now getting close to the limit although he has a decent pension. I doubt we would get help with costs but would like the powers that be to agree it is a reasonable purchase, if suitable, in order to allow me to continue to care for David at home. I think the cost is around £8,000 which is a lot but when you compare with the cost of a CH at around £3,000 per month, if it means I can manage at home it might make economic sense and also will lower my stress levels every time we need to go up and down the stairs.
    Tre
     
  10. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,654
    North West
    I seem to be in a similar position to you tre, trying to compensate with dramatic deterioration in mobility and loss of ability to use stairs. We are currently imprisoned on the ground floor camping out on a sofa bed, with a porta potti and, of course, hot water but no easy way of giving Sue a real good wash. 5 days ago she was having a daily bath upstairs. I looked at the lifts but nowhere in our Victorian house would quite accommodate one sensibly. As you say, expensive but not so much when you look at CH fees. I hope you're able to get one that suits. I'm investigating stairlifts and, further on, a wet room/bathroom where our small dining room is currently.
     
  11. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    My thinking exactly tre, we have spent a lot on equipment, conversions, care staff etc but still in comparison with care home costs its not a lot. I have every intention of keeping my husband at home until the last possible moment. Unfortunately I have to employ carers because I can't physically manage him any more. This may be something you need to think about as well. I hated the idea, still do but I know I can't do it all the time on my own.
     
  12. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,654
    North West
    Yes, bemused, that's what I'm trying to get used to too. I will do everything I can to 'stay the course' whilst knowing it's foolish to say never because all sorts of things could happen to our loved ones and/or us. I'm on a steep learning curve at the moment because so many things I took for granted no longer apply. It's very hard and potentially dangerous work.
     
  13. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Bemused I do have help in that David goes to daycare three days per week which is about to increase to four SW getting act together permitting. I also have a crossroads sitter for two hours and another agency sitter for two hours so all these costs add up to around £600 per month which is still cheap compared to residential care. He has a rare dementia pca which starts by scrambling up the visual signals. Now he is functionally blind although he can tell if it is light or dark. This brings further problems as I have to constantly reassure him he is not alone as he cannot see me. Mobilty problems now mean I cannot take him where i need to be. When I am cooking it is a couple of minutes in the kitchen, door open and constantly returning reassuring him. He does not like noise so hoovering, mowing the lawn, home repairs needing the power tools etc etc have to be done when he is at daycare. I go to bed when he goes to bed and hardly watch TV as it scares him. If there is something I really want to see I put some soothing music on headphones for him and sit next to him holding his hand with the TV on really low volume with the subtitles so I can follow the plot. Mostly we tend to listen to music together and I can read. I will do all of this and more to give him the best quality of life I can.
    Stanley, I am in a similar position in that we do have a downstairs loo but I want to keep his access to upstairs for showering facilities. We did the camping downstairs four years ago when he broke his hip. I managed a bit washing him in the kitchen with him on the perching stool but it is much more pleasant for both of us to use the shower.
    I am hoping the lift could go in the corner of our lounge diner adjacent to the stairs which would bring it out on the landing just outside our bedroom. Failing that maybe a bit further along into the lounge which would be right underneath the bedroom but I would prefer the landing because with his hospital bed and my single already jammed in there is not a lot of space in our bedroom as it stands. I have already stacked a chest of drawers in order to have room to get him dressed and undressed adjacent to the bed.
    I need to get my measure out and hover about with a paper template.
    Tre
     
  14. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    Most of all Stanley you have to learn your own limitations. Not a lecture but something I had huge problems with. Hard work isn't the problem, its the danger and its really important to know that includes you.
     
  15. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,654
    North West
  16. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Hi Tre, have to say your dedication to your husband is admirable and heartwarming. Regarding Disabled Facilities Grant the OT put us forward for this as high priority (only 6 months wait). Form was very hard work if your finances are at all complicated and you have to put down ALL financial details for yourself and your husband. I ended up photocopying 30 pages to send off!
    Although we're nowhere near the maximum allowed capital we were disallowed on income because they reckoned we could afford to take out a loan to cover the cost (of a wet room and outside ramp). They don't assess your outgoings or take into account mortgage payments. My worry would be if my husband went into care or died I would be left with large loan repayments which I wouldn't be able to repay on my pension. As it is we live quite frugally and I am able to save for the adaptations we need but feel very sorry for people who are in a more difficult situation. Hope you find a workable solution to your problems. Love, Es
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  17. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Bemused you have it exactly. I think I have known in my heart for a long time the danger we are facing twice daily going up and down stairs but it is only in the past couple of weeks I've allowed my head to think about it.
    Stanley I agree with you that you can never say never but I will try to continue to care for him at home as long as I can.
    Coming downstairs was a nightmare this morning. He froze on about the third step from the top and then he grips the rails so hard it is very difficult to encourage him to move. The worst thing is I have no way of telling how it will be on the stairs from his behaviour earlier on. He was really good in the shower this morning and last night he came up easily.
    Tre
     
  18. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,654
    North West
    I can so relate to your post tre. This is where I'd been for a while - 1 to 3 freezes per assent and the occasional scary trip on top step. Coming down was usually a lot better and when occasionally Sue sat down on a stair it was usually possible to get her up or bump down on her bottom step by step.

    How I would love to be back there - scary as it was.

    I am still utterly perplexed as to how an apparently not very bad fit where she quickly got back to her 'normal' mood-wise and response-wise and vital signs were all normal and she was still able to use the stairs up (Mon) and down (Tues a.m.) could then lead to a situation where she can just about stand and walk a few feet if supported.

    I know it's foolish to look for explanations in dementia world but that's how I and I expect a lot of other people are programmed.
     
  19. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    I am learning quite a lot from your responses. Esmeralda, thanks for the further info regarding the disabled facilities grant. if it takes six months for them to say no when you are fast tracked I reckon I would be best to forget all about trying for this. At the current rate of deterioration I do not think I have six months before we encounter a crisis on the stairs so I need to address the problem now.
    Stanley-yes up is the most scary for me too. I even looked at the rock climbing websites to see if there was some sort of rope harness thing I could adapt to make things safer. Your responses have made me realise that I need to address this sooner rather than later. I am intending to bite the bullet and talk to the lift people next week.
    Tre
     
  20. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,654
    North West
    I had similar thoughts! Also fantasies about some kind of attachment of the wrist to the handrail which, of course, could not possibly work for all kinds of reasons.:(
     

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