Tracy – spinal injury

Tracy spinal injury house adaptationsActive Assistance client Tracy, has chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, and sustained a spinal injury as her spine collapsed due to this chronic condition.

At the time of the injury, Tracy was living downstairs in a two bed terraced house, not able to have a shower, as there was no bathroom facilities downstairs. She was using her sitting room as her bedroom, which allowed her no private space within the home that she shared with her teenage son and partner.

She therefore decided to move home into a bungalow, close to her brother, but unfortunately this also needed adaptation to support her everyday living, as Tracy could not get into the bathroom or gain access, either in or out of the property, unless the ramp from the car was placed over steps at her back door. This in itself was a very dangerous manoeuvre as the slope was so steep and the ramps so short. Tracy was effectively trapped in her own home until funding for adaptations were agreed.

Debbie Caine, the Active Assistance manager responsible for Tracy’s care package at the time, got in touch with Continuing Health Care and Social Services to find out who would agree under continuing healthcare needs to fund the adaptations to the bungalow to ensure the client’s safety.

A discussion ensued between CHC and Social Services as to who would fund the adaptations which led to Debbie contacting Aspire Housing to see if they could help find a solution.

After two years, Aspire Housing managed to get agreement on the adaptations and funding from Social Services. Whilst the structural adaptations were taking place, Aspire Housing relocated Tracy to a house in Oxford and finally after a few months she managed to get into her newly adapted home! The remodelling included an adapted bedroom and a wet room. In addition, the entrance to the property has been redesigned to incorporate a step lift to allow Tracy safe easy access to her home.

Tracy said that the whole experience had been very stressful. Not knowing for two years, when and if the work would ever be agreed and completed. She was very appreciative of all the support she has received from both Active Assistance and Aspire Housing. Without such help, she believes she would still be waiting and trapped in her own home.

Tracy’s situation from before the adaptations is captured in a video published by the Aspire Charity.