Case study - how equipment helped Jean


Jean's family were concerned that many household tasks just seemed to be becoming too much effort and discussed the options with her.

Jean's challenge:

Jean fell in her flat and a neighbour found her and called the ambulance. She was admitted to hospital with symptoms of dehydration and a urinary infection Once fit she was discharged from hospital with a care package of one half hour call a day with a single carer through her local authority reablement service. The occupational therapist arranged to visit her with her son Robert present.

Jean did not want to have a carer helping her, but reluctantly agreed to work them for a short while. The OT identified that Jean would benefit from some equipment to help her manage some tasks more safely and maintain her independence, and the carer would help her to get used to the equipment.

Possible solutions

In addition to a profiling bed and a riser/ recliner chair, the Occupational Therapist recommended that Robert consider purchasing some simple equipment and gave him a link to Living made easy to see what was available and to identify the best supplier. Her recommendations included:

  1. Jean did not have a dining table and sat in her arm chair for meals. Previously she had these on her lap. A height adjustable cantilever table would allow her to continue to sit in the arm chair, but have her meals on the table.
  2. Jean enjoyed making her own meals, but because of her arthritis struggled to carry hot food and drinks. A trolley would allow her to transport these safely.
  3. Robert purchased a simple microwave although Jean objected to it and insisted on continuing to cook. Having watched her make some beans on toast, Robert asked the OT whether a perching stool, which he'd seen on Living made easy, would be sensible. She agreed and had one delivered the next week but recommended that Jean get in a supply of ready meals for the days that she had less energy and was less able to stand steadily. Robert also purchased some water bottles with times marked on it so that Joan could keep track of how much she was drinking.

    The outcome

    With some practice Jean got used to the equipment and even found herself using the microwave for the ready meals she has occasionally.

    Having read the kitchen planning advice on Living made eady Robert plans to look into other options, including getting a company round to assess Jean for kitchen adaptations which may enable Jean to use the kitchen more effectively.