Living With Parkinson's

A Wet Makeover

“Behind the disability, we have a heart and a mind.” ― Matthew Kenslow.

     With the progression of Parkinson’s Disease giving me a powerful kick or three, this year, I have deteriorated more than I had expected and certainly my new neurologist has said that Parkinson’s is now at ‘fast progression’.  Nothing exemplified this better than the number of times that I have fallen and almost fallen this year.  One area, in particular, stood out to me a a hazard; our bathroom.

     Stepping into the bath or getting out of the bath became something that seemed ridiculously challenging, at times, for someone of my age.  Obviously, as a person with Parkinson’s, this difficulty is to be expected, but I do sometimes find this whole situation rather incredulous, to say the least.

     I made contact with our local authority to see about how one might apply for a funding grant for a remodelling of the bathroom.  The response was not favourable, in that the one year application and assessment process would almost certainly end up in a decline, I was told.  I thought I would have to settle for the ongoing risk of injury from falling and, to be frank, I would have had to but for one thing.  An incredibly decent and kind Landlord.

     Unable to fund a renovation, particularly on a centuries old cottage that is a listed building, our Landlord made the most generous offer to renovate the bathroom into one suited to my disability needs and he has funded it.  I am absolutely staggered by this and grateful beyond words, for the work has had a bit of a domino effect and other parts of the building are also being worked on.

     Before, to access the shower required me to step into the bath.  Now, with work still in progress, the bath has been removed and a vast, wall length shower unit is being fitted.  The bathroom is undergoing complete renovation and decorating.  What we didn’t have before was an extractor fan.  This, too is being fitted and will be sensitive to the room being entered; it will come on automatically.  We have incredibly hard water in Suffolk, with large lime deposits under most of the land, I am told, and so we suffer with the scaling on equipment, caused by limescale.  To give our new shower the longest life possible, an automated water softening device has been built into the room.  The builders are also installing railings for me to hold in the shower and around the room.

     I cannot adequately express my gratitude for such a kind action by our Landlord, in the face of not being able to get the funding from our local authority.  Here is a photo of the first day of the renovation work on the former bathroom:

     I will post the photo of the finished room, into this article, in due course.  Have you had any difficulty getting a renovation that you need?  How have you dealt with this?  Have you achieved a renovation that you have found to be life changing and risk reducing?  Do please feel free to comment below with your own experiences of how disability has led you to need to renovate or how disability has led you to transform an aspect of your home.

     Here is the end result:

(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.

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