Positive experience with my local council!

I’m feeling very impressed with the social care of Gateshead and Sunderland councils today so wanted to tell you about it. About 2 years ago I discovered that local councils run a service to provide equipment and make adaptations to your home to help you manage with disabilities. I contacted Gateshead council and they sent out an occupational health worker who assessed me and sent out some pieces of equipment that I’ve found really helpful everyday. When I moved I changed local councils and the equipment I’ve got to help me in the house belongs to Gateshead so I had to give it back, but because Sunderland couldn’t get out to see me until today they very kindly let me keep the items that I use everyday. My toilet frame, over bed table and trolley. 
When I spoke to Sunderland before I moved I explained which items I was using and that I would like some help for the shower so I can use it more often. Standing causes me to feel dizzy and showering itself is exhausting so having a way to sit down would be really helpful, and I wouldn’t be a stinky mess all the time. 😃
I was sent a letter from the council saying someone would come and see me today between 9am and 1pm. That’s a long time and covers most of my functioning hours so I was a bit frustrated by this, but just after 9am Julie, the occupational health assessor rang me to say she’d be there soon. This was nice to get a phone call so I could make sure I was ready for a visitor, points for good customer service! She arrived on time and was lovely! Not keen on cats, but otherwise really nice. She asked me which pieces of equipment I was using, how I was managing and explained that a bath shelf would help me in the shower. With Gateshead council I had to wait another 2 weeks after the assessment to receive the equipment, but Julie had everything in her van so she nipped out and brought back a new toilet frame, trolley and bath shelf. I don’t meet the Sunderland criteria for an over bed table which is a shame as I use it as a desk for work and organise my “nest essentials” on it when I’m having a bad day, but I’ve just ordered one from Argos for £22 so all sorted! She fitted the bath shelf and the toilet frame, demonstrated how to use them, checked I was ok with adjusting them and let me have a go while she watched me, made sure I was using them safely and told me to get in touch if I needed anything else.
This service is so helpful and essential to support people with disabilities to live independently, I’m very grateful that this service exists because other wise I’d have no idea which items would help me, and buying them would just be another expense that I’d have to fit into my budget. This is one of the hidden gems that newly disabled people might not know about, so if you haven’t already done it, search your local council’s website for adult social care and see what they offer.
Here’s the central website link to search for your local council and offerings https://www.gov.uk/apply-home-equipment-for-disabled

I’m looking forward to using my new bath shelf and having more showers 💦💧💦
Let me know what support you get from your local council.
Vic xx

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