WashPod Case Studies

The New Year didn’t start in quite the way Yorkshire farmer, Zoe, expected but she’s looking forward to a better Spring with the help of a WashPod temporary disabled wetroom.

In the Year’s first week, Zoe met with an accident on her Driffield farm that left her trapped under several, half-tonne hay bales for nearly half an hour. She’d been pulling some bundles of hay off to feed her prize herd of Highland Cattle one evening, when the huge bales became dislodged and knocked her onto the floor of the cattle yard before tumbling on top of her and pinning her down.

Unable to move Zoe was quick-witted enough to use the Siri feature on her Apple Watch to summon help.

The weight of the hay bales had shattered her pelvis on one side, snapped her pubic bone in half and broken her pelvis on the other side, leaving her in hospital for 3 weeks.

“I was desperate to get home from hospital” said Zoe “but we had no suitable washing facilities. Luckily, the WashPod got me out of there”. As she needed to be non-weightbearing, Zoe was also going to be confined to a wheelchair in a 18th Century farmhouse full of steps.

Zoe’s husband, Andrew, found out about WashPod on the internet and knew at once that the Internal Compact model would work in the converted workshop that he was preparing for Zoe’s return as it was the only level-access building on the farm.

Dignity Access pulled out all the stops and the WashPod was installed in record time – just two days from Andrew’s first enquiry.

“The WashPod has been everything to me really. Without it, I would still be in hospital urging my husband to build a wetroom. It would have been a complete mess – on top of everything else!”

“WashPod’s been perfect for me. A great shower and only half a day to install. And because we’ve rented it, the moment I get the go-ahead to ditch the wheelchair, the WashPod will be removed as quickly, said Zoe. “I might even be a bit sad to see it go!”.

Dignity Access has recently installed an Internal Compact WashPod disabled wetroom free of charge for the first beneficiary of the charitable venture, The Clive Deane WashPod, which was donated by Jay Deane in her husband’s memory to continue helping those with Motor Neurone Disease.

Berj Topalian has been desperate to find suitable washing facilities for his wife, Susan who has MND and cannot access the bathroom upstairs.

“We are so fortunate to have been selected to have The Clive Deane WashPod” says Berj. “We are very grateful for Jay’s generosity as we would have had to wait for a local authority grant which takes months and months. We had our WashPod in a week!”

The modular WashPods are extremely versatile and can be re-used time and time again which means that Clive’s legacy will live on. The WashPod team will also provide their services free of charge as a way of supporting a community close to their hearts.

“Thanks also to the WashPod team who were so efficient, courteous, kind and emotionally sensitive to the environment in which they have to work” continues Berj. “This WashPod has made our life so much easier and more comfortable at a difficult time”.

“We both decided that we would like to be able to help others in his situation when the time came” says Clive’s wife, Jay. “Clive loved the West Country and felt that we were so fortunate in many ways. Others are not so lucky, so we agreed to donate the WashPod to those in need in the region after Clive’s death”.

Jenny Trinder, MND Care Co-ordinator for Cornwall, helped Clive with his MND. “Motor Neurone Disease causes muscle weakness, making everyday activities of daily living challenging.  To be able to support and encourage independence and dignity via access to bathroom facilities can have a fundamental impact on quality of life” she says. “This donation has the potential to significantly contribute to both physical and psychological well-being”.

MND can sometimes progress very rapidly which means that getting the assistance needed is urgent which is where the speed of installation of wetroom like WashPod is critical.

An Internal Standard WashPod temporary disabled wetroom has given a young man with Long Covid a bit of comfort and independence at a time when he is feeling particularly vulnerable.

Gabe, like many other young people, caught Covid in October 2021, having just turned 16 years.

His mother, Sarah says “He was a hugely fit and sporty boy – never off his bike; a rugby playing, gym-going typical 16 year old”.

Everyone thought it would pass in a week or so, but by Christmas he was out of school, sport and socialising as he was badly affected by fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches, nausea, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), facial nerve pain and rashes.

Gabe “muddled through 2022” with ups and downs but by the start of 2023 had gone downhill and was being tested for potential autoimmune disease and other triggered latent diseases. In April he started having seizures, the first of which left him paralysed from the waist down. 

Two months of lifting and carrying started, with his “super-strong” cousin carrying him up and downstairs at the start and end of each day. There was only a downstairs toilet and getting Gabe in and out of that during the day was a tricky two-person job and sometimes ended up with him sliding onto the floor.

“I found WashPod online whilst Googling anything to help” says Sarah. “The huge appeal was the temporary nature of WashPod. We are hiring this unit as we are really hoping that Gabe will get better and we can say goodbye to it!  We have thought about getting a full bathroom put in but the lead time, brain power and energy to sort that out made it unworkable. We needed a solution that was ready to go and required a ‘yes please’ and nothing more.”

Sarah did consider a through-floor lift but the house layout is not ideal and the washroom space upstairs is still too tight for a wheelchair so they would be back to having to cope with the manual lifting.

Sarah and Gabe were at the hospital when the Dignity Access team installed the WashPod in just 7 hours, but they’re both very pleased with the result.

“Everyone from Dignity Access has always been very helpful and timely. Having the WashPod now means that Gabe is 100% downstairs and he can transition himself from his wheelchair or shower chair in and out of the WashPod easily. There is no more of the precarious lifting which is so important for his dignity and our stress levels”.

Mark spent 12 years in the RAF when he was younger and was grateful to the RAF Benevolent Fund for its support in funding a WashPod temporary accessible wetroom which was installed in his Kent home following the diagnosis of a brain tumour.

“The WashPod has been a real Godsend to Mark” says his wife, Hazel. “After a couple of falls on the stairs, we moved him to the ground floor to keep him safe but this meant he was strip washing which didn’t do much for his dignity”.

Mark, 60 years, lived in an old property which wasn’t suitable for the adaptations that he needed but his Occupational Therapist, Annabel Storey, suggested a Compact Internal WashPod that fitted perfectly in the conservatory, with ramps to allow him easy access in his wheelchair.

“The WashPod was been a brilliant interim answer to Mark’s washing needs as the Local Authority had a 6 month backlog to manage before anything more permanent could have been be considered” said Annabel. “The WashPod’s modular build gave it a flexibility that I didn’t find anywhere else. It could be in the conservatory but still leave room for Mark to get outside to his garden”.

“Mark had very little feeling down his left side and could not walk” said Hazel “Our WashPod made such a difference to him as it catered for his particular needs. And it was so quick to install. The pipework was done on the Monday and the pod fitted on the Wednesday” she added.

RAF Benevolent Fund helps both serving RAF and veteran RAF personnel with support, both financial and advisory. These include grants for home care costs, alongside Local Authority assessments.

“I’m not sure where we would have been without the RAF Benevolent Fund – they were brilliant” Hazel enthused.

A major stroke left 56 year old Maria with her left side totally paralysed so she was unable to walk or use her left arm and required help with all her care needs.  She was also diagnosed with terminal endometrial cancer and was being cared for by her sister, Teresa, and her family at their family home.  

Teresa needed to find a very quick solution to provide Maria with the facility of showering downstairs and she says that after a lot of research “I was lucky to find the perfect solution for our immediate needs in WashPod”.

“In just a few hours, we had a Micro WashPod installed into Maria’s downstairs bedroom and it was so small it even avoided blocking the light from the window.”

 “It was fantastic for Maria. We all take a shower for granted but for someone who’s had a stroke resulting in a life changing disability, it makes a world of difference. Maria’s stroke made her left side sensitive to the cold so a nice, hot shower was invaluable in warming the muscles and making them feel better about herself. The WashPod’s a wonderful thing that gave her a bit of freedom and dignity – it really contributed to improving Maria’s quality of life”.

The Micro WashPod will be the answer for many people needing at-home disabled bathing where space is at a premium. Having spent months trying to find a solution, it took only weeks from Teresa’s first phone call to installation of the WashPod unit, which only took a few hours.

An Internal Compact WashPod temporary disabled wetroom was been swiftly installed in Colin’s parents’ conservatory to restore some dignity and freedom for his ageing Mother who had Motor Neurone Disease and wanted to spend her last months at home with her husband of 50 years. 

 Colin, one of four children, said ‘this WashPod helped restore some quality and dignity to my Mother’s life which gave us such peace of mind that she was able to remain in the family home. A huge burden was been removed’.

 It had been a bit of a turbulent journey for Colin’s family as their mother’s condition rapidly deteriorated and options for accessible washing facilities were reviewed.  When their mother had to be admitted into hospital, she was unable to return home until the appropriate facilities were organised and, in coordination with Bristol City Council, the Washpod option was chosen over an accessible wetroom that would have taken weeks to complete, even if a contractor was found who was available to do the work.

The WashPod was a triumph as not only did it take just a week from first contact to installation, but it’s was also funded via Bristol City Council via the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

 “The speed with which the WashPod team responded and the professionalism shown was been seriously impressive” said Colin. “There was no disruption at all to my parents who were struck by the team’s sensitivity, good humour, commitment to doing a great job and tidiness” he continued.   “The WashPod was awesome”. 

WashPod has helped an amputee get back on his feet. Father of four, Steve, 57 years, loves his new WashPod Compact as he’s been able to shower for the first time in 3 months. The prospect of a school reunion was cut rudely short in January 2022, when he was involved in a collision with a car which appeared around the corner on the wrong side of the road when he was driving his Vespa motorbike. He returned to the house he loves near Cirencester but no suitable washing facilities. “It wasn’t great to be honest” says Steve. “I had to use a commode and couldn’t wash properly as I had to use the sink. Not only was Steve coping with the loss of dignity at a time when he was particularly vulnerable but he was getting into trouble at the hospital. “Every time I returned to have my wound dressed, I was berated by the nurses as I wasn’t washing my stump properly; it’s all part of the healthy tissue recovery to shower it diligently”. In a great display of teamwork, the other driver’s solicitor introduced Steve’s solicitor to WashPod and within a couple of weeks his washing facilities had improved. “I love it” he enthuses. “I really love my WashPod. I was able to have a shower for the first time in 3 months which felt fantastic and I don’t have to rely on my girlfriend for help. What’s more the doctors are happy with me”. Steve’s Compact WashPod is now in the living room for the foreseeable future until he decides whether to convert the garage or go for an extension to provide the necessary wetroom. “Getting hold of a builder is impossible but now there’s no rush and I can decide what’s best for us. We don’t want to move and I can consider all eventualities calmly while I get used to my new-normal”. Sadly Steve doesn’t see himself riding his Vespas again but he’s hoping a prosthetic may allow him to get back to rugby refereeing.

When Charlotte found the perfect rental property in her mother’s neighbouring Kent village for her family of 6, her dreams were nearly foiled by the lack of a downstairs wetroom for her 11 year old son, Joshua, who has Cerebral Palsy.

“I was so disheartened as we’d been looking for ages and I’d fallen in love with this place” says Charlotte. “Then I heard about WashPod and I was so relieved, particularly when the landlord gave his full backing so long as everything was made good when we leave”.

WashPod temporary disabled wetrooms don’t require any major adaptations and while they are plugged into the water and waste services, this takes no time to prepare and make good at the end of the period.

The family was forced to move as space was at a premium and Joshua, who uses a wheelchair, needed more room. They are renting for the next couple of years while they plan to build a new home for themselves.

“I’ve been very impressed with how quickly the whole process took as I only got the keys 10 days ago and it’s already installed” says Charlotte.

The property was spacious enough for the Compact WashPod to go in a downstairs room but a double garage with an adjoining lobby made the most sense and it was erected in just half a day, ready for Joshua to use from the moment they move in.

“I can relax now which is a great feeling” adds Charlotte.

An external Compact WashPod was key in helping to reunite a mum with her family for her first Christmas at home in several years.Three years ago, Kate needed surgery to repair a hernia but subsequent unforeseen complications left her completely paralysed on her left side and confined to a wheelchair. A rare series of events has left her with a stroke-like condition.Kate’s family home was totally unsuitable and inaccessible so after she had spent 12 months in hospital she had to be discharged to a rehab facility rather than return to her partner, Mike, and young son.It has taken a further two years involving clinical negligence litigation to allow a new house to be found that is suitable for adaptations, a through-lift and carers. The WashPod modular disabled wetroom has been chosen to provide an interim washing solution that will allow Kate home for Christmas.Mike is thrilled. “She’s desperate to get home and get on with her life” he says. “This is described as a Never Event as it should never have happened but it has. Kate has taken it very well and our WashPod provides her with a great space to wash, clean her teeth and feel good”.The External Compact WashPod was installed in just a day. “The WashPod team even stayed into the night to get it done in a day for us. They did a fantastic job” says Mike.Once the adaptations to the house are done, the WashPod can be removed as quickly and easily leaving them able to enjoy 2022 as a family unit again.

When his father fell and fractured his pelvis, Peter realised he had to accelerate his plans to adapt his home and provide his father with somewhere safe to recover. A Compact WashPod internal disabled wetroom seemed to offer the best and fastest solution.Peter was certain that he would find several solutions on the web but in the end found only one which suited the urgency of the situation.“Installing a WashPod proved astonishingly fast. The WashPod is comfortable and so well designed that I don’t believe we will now have to adapt the house at all which makes life much easier”. The WashPod was installed in a study room in just one day.Peter’s father (78) is recovering well – “he’s as strong as an ox” – but now has a suitable home in which to get better and, with a history of falls developing, Peter is reassured that everything is in place for the future.“This is an A* product and the WashPod team were superb. I have nothing but positive words. They went the extra mile and adapted their programme to suit my needs. Always enthusiastic and delightful from start to finish” concludes Peter.The Compact WashPod is one of the smallest in the range of rentable, plug ‘n play, temporary disabled wetrooms and is the answer for many people needing at-home disabled bathing where space is at a premium but extra room for carers, hoists and trollies may not be needed.

During the Christmas lockdown, we installed five temporary WashPod accessible wetroom units for the NHS in Essex to assist in their preparations for the winter period. The joined-up strategy made space for more critical care beds in one hospital by transferring some services for older people to another – hence the immediate, but temporary, need for WashPod to provide disabled washing facilities in new ward areas for the incoming patients.

The WashPod disabled wetrooms were built off-site in the factory and then reassembled on-site in as little as a week for all 5 units for minimum disruption to the smooth hospital running.

An internal WashPod mobile, disabled wetroom has provided the answer to Taahira and Hammad’s dilemma. They have been caring for Hammad’s elderly mother, Anisa, for several years who has very bad osteoarthritis and is very immobile. She’s been bed-bound upstairs but has had a wetroom, hoist and carers visiting to help.

But Taahira has been increasingly concerned about her mother-in-law’s isolation stuck upstairs. When paramedics advised them, during a bad case of pneumonia, that they would be unable to resuscitate Anisa if she remained upstairs, she and her husband took the decision to apply for planning permission to extend the family home to house her downstairs.

The family is having to move out during the building works but finding a rental property with a wetroom was proving impossible. Since Covid 19 they were not prepared to use a care home for the duration either.

“I was very surprised and excited to find a disabled bathroom that would fit and be built internally” said Taahira. “WashPod’s plug ‘n play format meant that we just needed to find an ordinary rental property, closer to home so that Anisa’s carers could still come and in the same borough so the council would move all her medical equipment and hospital bed. There’s much less disruption for all of us and neither will there be any alterations to make good for the landlord.”

The family can now relocate for the duration of the building works and are happy to be able to stay together.

WASHPOD HELPS ELDERLY PARKINSON’S SUFFERER STAY AT HOME

WashPod has helped John to stay at home a little bit longer. John is an elderly man who is living with a form of Parkinson’s Disease which has left him fragile and immobile. Patricia, his wife, is trying to make the best decisions on the most appropriate care for him as he is adamant that he doesn’t want to go into a care home of any sort.

“From John’s point of view, it is simply the most horrible thought of going somewhere unfamiliar” says Patricia.

Their discovery of WashPod (the mobile, disabled, wheelchair-accessible wet-room which has been erected in just two days in a spare room downstairs) will allow John to stay at home indefinitely which has given him real reassurance.

The internal Standard WashPod was the answer. “Certainly WashPod has lived up to our expectations and has made a big difference to John’s wellbeing. I think it’s fantastic and we’ve invited all our friends and family to see it” says Patricia “I know quite a few people who might benefit from something similar before too long” she adds.In an unusual turn of events, the couple moved out of an apartment in a retirement village into the modern 5 bedroom house in a village outside Newbury when it became clear that John needed a full-time, professional carer. “There wasn’t a spare room for the carer and we were on the second floor which made accessibility difficult” says Patricia.

One solution was to convert the garage into a suitable wet-room but this had to be abandoned when their builder let them down just before Christmas and they needed a more rapid solution.

WHEELCHAIR USER IN LEICESTERSHIRE  BENEFITS FROM WASHPOD IN RENTAL ACCOMMODATION TO THE DELIGHT OF THE OT

Eleanor Hales, Occupational Therapist at Sherwood Therapy Services, oversaw the project. “We’re all thrilled because in only three weeks from finding the property and getting the go-ahead the Compact WashPod was installed. It is a perfect solution as it means that we didn’t have to wait for costly adaptations. Neither will we have to make good at the end of the rental period – so a double saving”.

The Compact WashPod is one of the smallest in the range and was assembled off-site, before being installed in under a day in a spare bedroom at the property. It is a unique solution to bathing and has been specially designed for limited spaces, fitting internally into a reception room or bedroom. It’s quick to install with a potential lead time of only 10 days and can be fitted in less than a day. It will be the answer for many people needing at-home, disabled bathing where space is at a premium and where extra room for carers, hoists and trollies may not be needed.

WASHPOD ‘IS A LIFE CHANGER’ FOR SHEFFIELD MUM

Jessica, a mother from Sheffield, has called her new WashPod disabled wetroom, ‘a life changer’ for her and her little daughter, Isabella. The internal Standard WashPod was installed into the family’s garage in just a day recently, but it will allow them to stay in their rental home just as long as they want while they build a new home that’s adapted to Isabella’s growing needs.

Isabella is now 5 years old but severely brain-damaged, blind and has cerebral palsy. She has been non-mobile from birth, relies on a wheelchair and care for all her needs.

“It had come to the point when carrying her up and downstairs was beginning to get dangerous so something had to change” says Jessica. “I heard about WashPod from another family and was able to get funding for it which means that we can keep Isabella on the ground floor which is safer and more manageable”.

“The property is a rental and doesn’t belong to me so having the WashPod is fantastic as it fits in the garage and we don’t need to change the property” continues Jessica. “I would definitely recommend it as a safe way to shower and perfect for disabled people who can’t get upstairs”.

The plan is to keep WashPod for a couple of years so that they can get their house built in a sensible, comfortable timeframe.

Having spent 4½ months in hospital, 21 year old Luke wanted nothing more than to go home but the house had no accessible bathroom facilities. WashPod, the unique mobile, disabled wetroom, provided a rapid and dignified solution.

In early 2019, Luke was hit by a car when he was crossing the road and was seriously injured. He currently needs a wheelchair which made coming back to the family home difficult. For his mother, Annette, the options offered to her were totally unsuitable.

“Luke was trying to come to terms with his situation and the last thing he needed was to come home and have no suitable bathroom facilities” says Annette.

She discovered the WashPod from Dignity Access online and was thrilled.

“I am so pleased with our WashPod as it’s given Luke so much independence and dignity at a difficult time which has been crucial. It’s been of huge benefit to him and allowed him home without disruptive adaptations ” continues Annette.

It was a rapid installation as there was a WashPod that was becoming available and within two weeks from the first phone call, it was connected to Luke’s downstairs bedroom with a lobby for total privacy and comfort. In this instance, the unit was craned into position but both internal and external units can also be constructed from a flat-pack form and transported through the house or narrower side gates.

A middle-aged, bariatric woman, who is severely disabled and wheelchair bound, used the WashPod to make a rental property suitable for her needs. She wanted to trial her ability to live reasonably independently in a home of her own, despite the need for full-time carers. The trial continues to go well and it is hoped that soon she will find a property of her own to adapt and live in permanently.

At this two-storey maisonette, there is a small back yard where a Large External WashPod unit has been installed. It serves a nine year old girl and offers a wheelchair accessible wet room and a therapy room for treatments as well. In this instance, the cost of the family relocating to a more suitable home are currently prohibited. The unit continues to be of great benefit to her, her carers and family.

A WashPod unit was installed for an elderly, disabled woman who wanted to stay in her own home with her husband. The WashPod was rented for some months and allowed the couple the time to build a new house that was fully accessible and designed to meet her needs. Husband and wife have been able to move to their new home together and WashPod helped them stay together during this difficult time. Although this unit was craned into position, the WashPod design is modular and can be carried in parts through the house if accessibility is an issue.

WashPod suited the needs of this very disabled young lady who has Cerebral Palsy and needs good temperature regulation. She has to be trolley washed with two carers and the property is a rental where, understandably, it’s more difficult to make major adaptions to the building structure.

A local contractor assisted with the construction of a temporary lobby so that the user can be easily transferred in comfortable temperature conditions between the house and the WashPod.

A middle aged man who had been injured in a work-related accident and was wheelchair bound, was able to use the WashPod unit as part of his interim care provision between hospital and finding a new, more suitably adapted home. It allowed him to leave hospital quicker and return to his family and home to start his rehabilitation.

It was a small house and a housing estate with extremely difficult access to the garden, so the components of the WashPod were transported through the house and erected directly in place.

A bedroom could be made for him downstairs but without suitable washing facilities, he would not have been allowed home. A shell lobby was constructed, quickly and easy for the number of months that the WashPod was needed.

This was a rental property of a family with a child who has Cerebral Palsy. The landlord was reluctant to allow any structural changes to the property but WashPod provided the answer.

The WashPod was installed in the back garden but because there was no access, the WashPod unit was carried through the house and erected directly in place.