Devon Stories

Dianne's Story

Using a Community Equipment Prescription and Direct Payments for a mixed bundle of 'aids to daily living' increased Dianne's mobility and independence.

Following some time in hospital, Dianne became bed-bound and required help with her personal care. She returned home with a package of care delivered by care agency staff.

“I’ve lived in this house for the last 32 years and brought up my family here, my memories are here,” says Dianne “if I can pay carers to look after me here then it keeps me out of hospital or a care home, and I am happy”  Dianne is a home-bird and prefers people to visit her. “I’m lucky because the family all live locally and friends and neighbours do pop in.”

A new care agency took over Dianne’s care package, but Dianne wanted to stay with the carers she knew. An ACS adviser worked out that her FACS eligibility was substantial.

They developed a support plan together and Dianne’s outcomes were to improve her mobility, have confidence in her carers, and become less isolated by seeing her family and neighbours frequently.

Her husband works during the day so normally she was left alone in an upstairs bedroom unable to move.  “Unfortunately I have no balance. I can’t walk but I can think about it. The only time I walk is in my dreams. I used to just lie in bed in the same position upstairs... day after day. I’d just love to be downstairs.”

Dianne talked with her Occupational Therapist (OT), about her life and objectives. They decided that one way Dianne could be in control of her care was to take her personal budget as a Direct Payment (DP). "I was issued with a Community Equipment Prescription  for the small bits of equipment to help me and my OT supported me to get the larger equipment through a DP."

“The Personal Budget is designed to give me control over the way my support and care is organised. Managing DPs is easy, we just opened a separate bank account. Once a month we pay our carers using it, then every three months we send the statements back to the DPs team at DCC along with a short form. If we haven’t spent it all then we just give some back”.

Dianne’s new equipment gives her back her independence. “I don’t want my OT’s head to swell but she is brilliant! I’ve just bought three new items, one with a Community Equipment Prescription, the other two with DPs.  

“I was given a prescription for a backrest which helps me to sit up in bed more comfortably and I paid extra myself to have an electrically operated one which I can manage by myself. I got my husband to collect it for me from the pharmacy in town.”

“With my DPs I paid for a ceiling track, to help me out of bed and into my wheelchair so I could use the shower and a ‘Camel’ cushion lift that helps me off the floor and into my wheelchair if I fall or slide onto the ground.”

Dianne’s equipment helps her meet her eligible needs and achieve her objectives in her support plan. She has increased her mobility. The equipment prevents ambulance callouts and is a very cost effective alternative to hospital admission or residential care.

Dianne’s husband adds: “If we didn’t have it, and she fell down, there is no way I could lift her up on my own.” Dianne concludes: “The equipment and having Direct Payments has given me back my independence.”