Mrs and Mr A’s story, Taylor Wimpey Dementia Fund
My husband used to be a secondary school teacher and I work for the civil service. He has had Alzheimer’s for six years and he can get confused and disorientated. We have lived in the same property since 1991.
I first heard about WE Care & Repair from a Healthy Homes training session and a presentation at the Dementia Cafe we go to, so when it was time to have a new bathroom I visited the showroom and arranged for one of their Occupational Therapist to visit.
We had a small shower room downstairs and a bath upstairs with a separate toilet. WE Care & Repair replaced the bathroom with a level access shower for my husband.
My husband used the shower downstairs which was unpleasant, it was small and I had to shout through instructions which he didn’t understand. When I tried to help, I got soaked through.
The upstairs bathroom has a light grey floor and white walls. My husband is less disorientated if there are contrasting colours. We were advised by our dementia support group that red would offer the best contrast. So we went for red grab rails, red toilet seat and a red bathroom door – there are 6 doors upstairs and they are all white, so the red door really stands out. Now my husband is more independent and it is much easier for him to find the toilet. We also had half height screens installed, so now I can stand with nothing between him and me and it’s absolutely perfect for him to have a shower.
I liked the idea that WE Care & Repair is a not- for-profit organisation and it’s worth its weight in gold having someone else to project manage. I found the pre-start meeting reassuring and professional as a customer .WE Care & Repair got on with it, they didn’t expect the customers to be able to decide immediately and were not in the least annoyed on any changes.
Before we went ahead, I took some bumpf from the showroom and decided to have an occupational therapist visit, who was really helpful with the design. They advised me to check whether I would be eligible for the statutory grant, but we didn’t qualify. The OT understood that one of my husband’s symptoms was confusion and that he needed prompting, she understood that he wouldn’t want to talk about his difficulties directly with her and she was happy to discuss his needs with me.
The builders were very good, they turned up and were considerate. They went the extra mile in understanding that the toilet needed to function at night, they made sure they layered the paint in the morning, so the paint would be dry in time for night time use.
I would say that WE Care & Repair were professional, expert and helpful. I have shown a number of friends who say how smart it is. I would say to them that WE Care & Repair are a safe pair of hands.