Language
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Insurance Funding Request

Did you know Firefly products may be funded by your insurance?

Learn More
Back to Firefly Blog

Adapting is Good… or Is It?

Adapting is Good… or Is It?

I just know that I wanted to scream. Our council DFG team OT is lovely.

But we live in a 1930’s semi-detached house with steep stairs, no landing to speak of and which has been extended by previous occupiers giving a lovely, quirky family home.

With steps everywhere.

We bought this house to raise our family in, so talking about what they want to do the change it is upsetting because it Should Not Be This Way.

Sam is only 3, he’ll be 4 in April. He’s tall too, at just under 1m in height, but like his Dad he’s slender.

We have to lift him everywhere, upstairs to bed, into and out of the bath, into his wheelchair to go into the garden; steps really don’t help the issue.

And as his Dad and I are not getting younger, our backs, arms and muscles are starting to show all the signs of too much lifting, wear and tear.

So, we reached the conclusion that adaptations needed to be discussed.

After talking with the OT we learnt the following:

1. All staircases are not created equal. Ours are too narrow and too steep to safely put a stairlift in place; no landing means the lift wouldn’t be able to turn, plus with Sams seizures he could be injured.

2. A stair climber is also out of the question, see point 1.

3. The only option would be a through floor lift.

4. Our bathroom is too small to adapt so a downstairs bathroom would need to be built

5. We wouldn’t be able to put hoisting tracks anywhere in the house, due to the difficult shape of the rooms The problems in our current house are not unique nor particularly unusual.

A through floor lift would be HUGE and we’d lose half our front room and a bedroom.

The DFG grant wouldn’t cover the cost of an extension AND a lift so it would be one or the other – and even with a lift Sam wouldn’t be able to access the upstairs bathroom.

Which left us with a big decision to make; do we stay and make do, or move house?

After much soul-searching early in 2014 we decided to move. We started to look round for suitable properties – we really wanted a bungalow we could adapt, or land to build our own place.

We put our property on the market in May 2014. It meant that we in effect drop out of the DFG process for the time being, and will need to reapply once we’ve moved.

This will mean around a 6 month wait for another OT to come and assess Sam again. We can live with that, if it means Sam gets a home he can actually live in and access!

Councils will only deal with access into and around a property, so access to gardens isn’t covered (apart from allowing you to get OUT of your house and INTO the garden – if this means you can get onto a patio but no-where else, tough.

However, this morning we’ve had a breakthrough.

Almost a year ago, when we first started looking we found a dormer bungalow, set back off the road with a large garden.

It looked like nothing from the front or from the pictures, but the floor plan showed that we could easily move Sam around it in his chair, and hoisting could be put in at a later date.

We never imagined almost a year on we would still not have sold our house.

However, we did find out that we can rent our existing place out; this would cover the mortgage and allow us to move… and the property we loved was still on the market at a lower asking price.

This morning, we put in an offer and after a bit of haggling agreed on a price.

Fingers crossed everything now progresses swiftly and smoothly!

We will be living downstairs in the new place until we can afford to have adaptations done and we’ve been through the DFG process again… its going to be tight financially but we’re determined that Sam will have a home that is not only accessible to all of us but that does not look like a hospital ward!

We’ve already been researching bathing aids/wet rooms and know we’ll have to cover a lot of the cost, but Sam spent most of his first year in hospital, including his birthday; we’ve all seen enough of the inside of a hospital to know we don’t want to feel like we’re living in one!

As the move/adaptations progress I’ll update with what we’ve learnt etc… fingers crossed please guys x

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Carolyn Voisey

Meet Our Blogger

Mum to one incredible little dude, I work full time in higher education and have my own small business as a jewellery designer/creator. I love nothing more than having time with my family, being outside and with my animals (chickens, cats, dog..!).

View Carolyn’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on

Purchases on $99+

US Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of $99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 6 month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 6 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00.
  • Individual items that are less than $99 qualify for special financing when combined for a total of $99 or more in a single transaction.
  • Multiple separate transactions of less than $99 per transaction cannot be combined to meet the minimum purchase amount.

Purchases of $98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend $98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • If approved, we start you off with a minimum credit line of at least $250. See FAQs for more info.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00. See Terms and Conditions tab for more info.
  • If you miss a payment your late fee could be up to $38, even less if it's your first time. See FAQs for more info.

Please wait...