Ben has severe epilepsy, osteoporosis, autism and is unable to communicate verbally. He shares the family home with his mother Dorne and his sister’s family, including his three nieces and nephews. Ben’s health began to deteriorate rapidly four years ago following a broken leg. Up until this point, Ben had managed to bathe in a standard bath with the assistance of his mother Dorne.
Dorne explains: “Ben used to be able to walk and stand up in our old standard bath to be washed. Unfortunately, after he broke his leg, Ben never recovered his mobility and his health has become worse. The doctors are investigating if Ben has developed a new condition and the epileptic seizures have also damaged his brain. As a result of these changes, we found ourselves unable to cope adequately with Ben’s bathing regime which to be honest became ridiculous. We did try a seat that rose up and down in the bath which helped somewhat, but I found I was too frightened to bathe him in case he fell again. The process didn’t feel secure or safe.”
Supported by Ben’s Occupational Therapist, the family applied for a Disabled Facilities Grant from Wrexham Council. This was to include improved bathing facilities as well as an extension to increase the size of Ben’s bedroom.
Dorne continues: “Social Services recommended we install a wet room. However, I felt strongly that this was not suitable for several reasons. Firstly in my opinion, it was too high risk due to Ben’s daily seizures and because he can break his bones so easily. Secondly, Ben very much enjoys bathing rather than showering. He doesn’t get much enjoyment out of life so this was a really important factor. He can stay in a bath for 10 to 30 mins and be happy – I was determined that he wouldn’t lose this.” …..read more