Libby and her family are very excited now that Libby’s new fully accessible bedroom and wetroom have been built, and her through-floor lift installed to enable moving around the home safely.
Libby has long term and complex difficulties which means she requires round the clock care from her parents and carers. Libby is unable to walk, talk or do anything independently and due to Libby’s respiratory difficulties it is not appropriate for her to have a bedroom downstairs as her parents are up throughout the night attending to Libby. Libby is too young and vulnerable to be too far away from her parents. Libby therefore required adaptations to her house so she can be safely moved around the family home, and can be included in daily family life in all areas of the home.
Libby’s parents were having to lift and carry her all around the house, up and down stairs; in and out of bed and the bath; lifting from chair to the floor; in and out of her buggy/wheel chair etc. Libby’s bedroom was also far too small to accommodate all the equipment required to support Libby.
The plan was to build an extension on the side of the family home to facilitate a through-floor lift, wet room, bedroom and install a hoist.
Installing a lift was a great expense and the cost was not covered by any local authority grants or funds from the family, therefore £10,000 was required to be raised towards the cost of making adaptations to the family home to include installing a lift.
Supported by Sullivan’s Heroes, the main focus of the fundraising was a family member running a marathon, together with a coffee morning along with prize raffle held by the family. Funds were also received as a result of letters written to businesses and charities explaining Libby’s difficulties and asking for support.
Two charitable trusts also made contact, through Sullivan’s Heroes as the supporting charity, and donated funds to meet the target. As Libby’s family states “This would not have happened without the support of Sullivan’s Heroes.”
Having reached the fundraising target the adaptations and lift works were carried out to create this new space to meet Libby’s requirements.
The new wet room now includes a shower and changing table which means no more lifting Libby out of the bath. A specialist height-adjustable sink which moves up and down allows for wheeling Libby’s chair up to, whilst also providing a platform for Libby to take part in water play to support her sensory needs. Libby now has her own toilet within a specialist chair which enables her to use toilet facilities in a dignified manner.
Libby’s new tracking and hoist between her bedroom and wetroom means she can be transferred safely and comfortably – to and from her bed, for showering, between her indoor and outdoor chair – and it also provides support to practice her walking.
Having Libby’s bedroom upstairs means her parents are always near at hand to attend to her constant disrupted sleep throughout the night. The new through-floor lift means Libby can move around the home and between the ground and first floor easily and safely.
The adaptations overall have taken the physical strain off Libby, her parents and her family. As Libby gets older and her difficulties heighten the family home is now well-equipped to facilitate Libby’s support for the future – safely, comfortably and with dignity.