He is a three-year-old boy who sustained an acquired brain injury at birth in the UK resulting in dystonic cerebral palsy, neurological dysphagia, gastro oesophageal reflux and a right sided squint. Leo is dependent upon his parents to meet all his care needs.
The family lived in Germany with Leo’s Father working in London during the week and only seeing his family at the weekend. The family decided to relocate to London so they could be a family unit and so that L’s Mother was more supported with his care.
It was our role to view suitable properties for Leo and his family and look at the properties potential to be adapted to meet Leo’s present and long-term needs.
When considering a suitable forever home for a child so young it is important to look at future needs and the space and equipment required by that child when they reach adulthood. This can be gained through collaboration with other professionals such as hospital medical teams who have anticipated Leo’s future needs and ability. It is also important to ascertain if it is the parents wish to have further children as space is a major issue to consider. The family wanted to live in North London, which was near friends, Father’s workplace and a support network.
A potential property was sourced which appeared suitable on paper and which L’s parents were happy with size wise and location wise. It was then our Occupational Therapists responsibility to view this property with the family and the architect involved to look at it’s suitability and potential to be adapted for the long term.
The property in question was a 5-bedroom semi-detached house spread over 3 floors with steps at the front and rear. It had an open plan flow downstairs which is always beneficial when considering circulation space for a wheelchair.
Ramped access was recommended at the front of the property where a safe 1:15 gradient could be achieved.
A step lift be installed at the rear of the property to allow safe access to the garden level from the property
A through floor lift be installed travelling from the main living room directly into L’s proposed bedroom above.
A 3m ceiling track hoist be installed in the family bathroom to facilitate safe transfers from shower chair into the bath.
An H track ceiling track hoist system be installed in the living room too offering L the opportunity to be hoisted onto the floor, the sofa, his wheelchair or buggy and other seated areas.
We also recommended that one of the spare double bedrooms be considered as a therapy room / playroom for Leo and any future siblings. This should have an H track ceiling track hoist system to offer full room coverage
The above adaptations were all achievable within the existing footprint of the property and no major structural changes were required.
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