Gaining independence from adaptations

Bethany and her bed
Bethany is seven years old and is fast growing into a confident young girl wanting more of her own independence.

However, when Bethany was just 13 months old, she unfortunately suffered a stroke. This developed into a brain aneurysm, which meant she had to undergo surgery in order to stem the bleed. As a result, Bethany has left-side hemiplegia – a form of cerebral palsy that causes a weakness down her left side.

This was understandably a very difficult time for Bethany and her family. “It was like our whole world turned upside down,” Bethany’s mum, Alice, explains. “It’s something that no parent should ever have to go through.”

Bethany has worked on her independence throughout the years with the support of her family and services such as the Stroke Association. “Bethany undertakes physio and goes to occupational therapy regularly, and she attends all of her medical appointments with so much courage and enthusiasm,” says Alice. However, Bethany can still struggle with certain tasks due to having restricted use of her left hand.

Recently, Bethany’s parents bought her a new cabin bed as she was outgrowing her previous one. Unfortunately, they soon discovered that she was struggling to come down the steps safely on her own. “Bethany really struggled using her new bed independently and was very nervous. The steps were far too vertical and steep for her,” Alice explains. As a result, Bethany’s nights were disrupted and her parents were anxious about her injuring herself if she tried getting down on her own.

When Bethany’s occupational therapist was unsure how to provide further help with this, they recommended Bethany and her family reach out to REMAP – a charity that connects people living with a disability with local engineers to see if a piece of specialist equipment or a home adaptation can simplify their life.


“We’d definitely go back to REMAP for help, they are the first people we would call for future adaptations. We can’t recommend them enough!”

After the family contacted REMAP, volunteer engineers Derek and David from Kent visited Bethany to see if they could devise a solution. The results were life changing for Bethany. Derek and David worked hard to provide her with a set of bespoke steps angled to make it easier and safer for her to get up and down them without assistance.

Alice is overjoyed with how much REMAP helped her daughter, saying: “Bethany is now up and down the steps like a yo-yo! Both REMAP and its engineers have helped her immensely, and she can now climb in and out of her bed without help.

“It’s great to see her now using her new cabin bed as she should be. She was always nervous climbing down, but now she is so confident – she looks so happy, which in turn makes us happy!”.

REMAP believes strongly in making things possible for anybody with a disability. Its team of volunteers design and create custom-made support aids to help people like Bethany gain more independence. “We’d definitely go back to REMAP for help,” Alice says. “They are the first people we would call for future adaptations. We can’t recommend them enough!”

About the PSR

The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service, designed to support those who need a little extra help in the event of interruptions to their gas, water or electricity supply.

If you or someone you know has extra communication, access or safety needs, signing up to the PSR will help you to access the best possible service at all times and to feel safe and independent at home.

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