Josie’s Story – “I was trapped in my own living room, now I’ve got my independence back”

For nine years mother of two, Josie*, 58, has lived with her partner and two grown-up children in the Ellesmere Port home she loves.  

When Josie first reached out for help her living situation was hugely impacting her day-to-day life.  

“I felt trapped in my living room because it was painful to get up and down the stairs. I had a specialist bed in there and was having to wash at the kitchen sink,” Josie said. 

“I started having problems with my back a few years ago. I’ve got prolapsed discs and osteoarthritis. I use a wheelchair to get around. 

“I love my house, which we privately rent, but the set-up just wasn’t working for me anymore.” 

Support from HomeKey+  

HomeKey+ is Cheshire West & Chester Council’s Home Improvement Agency delivered in partnership with ForHousing. 

HomeKey+ supports people to make the repairs, improvements or adaptations needed to make sure their homes meet their needs. They also guide people through the funding options and application process. 

The first step was for an occupational therapist to visit Josie and assess her needs. They made recommendations to HomeKey+ on the adaptations required to Josie’s home to make it accessible for her. 

The HomeKey+ team quickly actioned the application within two days and made contact with Josie. After meeting with her, they used their expertise to plan and design the adaptations needed and to support her application for a grant to make the life-changing transformation to her home possible. 

HomeKey+ even contacted Josie’s landlord to arrange for their written consent for the work to be done. 

Within around two months work was underway on Josie’s home and it was completed before the end of 2022. 

Better quality of life 

Josie said: “We’ve had a new stairlift and wet room installed and it has made a real difference to my life. 

“The stairlift was fitted first and it was amazing to be able to sleep in my own room in my own bed again. And we could finally use the living room together as a family. 

“A few months later the bathroom was transformed into a wet room in just nine days. It was all ready for Christmas. 

“I couldn’t safely get in and out of our old bath but now I can use the wet room. It’s a godsend.” 

Josie added: “I’d recommend HomeKey+ to anyone that needs it. The person that came to do the work was brilliant, polite and always on time. Any snags were sorted no problem. 

“This work means I’ve got a much better quality of life and can live more independently. It means everything to me and it all came together really quickly thanks to the support from HomeKey+ to arrange the funding.” 

*name changed to protect the identity of the customer.