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Equipment and Adaptations to
help you live safely at home

 

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There are a wide range of devices and equipment that can help you to live safely and securely at home. Many can provide instant help but with some you may need adaptations to your home or more specialist advice.

Some items of equipment, such as shower stools, chair raisers and large handled cutlery – often described as Aids for Daily Living or Independence Aids – will help you with everyday tasks around the home and will help improve your safety. Additional assistance, such as grab rails, ramps, stair lifts and bathroom adaptations can also help but may require specialist installation.

In the last few years, there has been significant innovation in technology to support older and vulnerable people to live independently at home. See our article ‘How Technology can help you to live at home independently’

Assistive Technology or Telecare is equipment that can help detect a problem in your home and alert others that you may need assistance. There are the traditional pendant alarms and more sophisticated sensors that can detect falls, flooding, smoke, unusual movement and extreme changes in temperature. These devices and sensors can connect to a response centre or a family member.This can give reassurance to you, your family and your carers that an alert will be raised if an incident occurs.

It can be challenging to find the right solution for what will help you most and you may find it valuable to consult an Occupational Therapist (OT). OTs are experienced professionals who can support you in finding the most appropriate equipment and can advise you on how you might best adapt your home to be able to carry out everyday activities. Waiting lists for referrals can be long but your GP or District nurse should be able to advise.

Home Improvement agencies (also known as Care & Repair or Staying Put schemes) can also be of help. These are local government-supported organisations who can provide advice on adaptations and can manage more complex work for an agreed fee. Most of them also offer a handyperson service for small practical jobs to keep you safe and secure at home

In addition to Financial Assistance that you may be able to get from your local authority or NHS, (See our article ‘What financial help can I get for my Care and Support?’)there can be funding available for Home adaptations and equipment. (If you have a permanent disability you could be eligible for a Disabled Facility Grant. Homeowners and occupiers over 60 can also apply for Flexible Home Improvement Loans and there is a means-tested homeowner grant of up to £5,000 for essential repairs to the home called Essential Repair Grant.

To find out about these schemes contact your District Council. In addition, grants and financial assistance to support keeping your home warm can be provided by Better Homes, Better Health (0800 107 0044).

Equipment, devices and adaptations of this nature can be purchased privately, or you may be eligible to receive them free of charge or at reduced cost from your local authority. If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you should not be charged VAT on many of these products or for their installation and maintenance.

Further information:

Aids for Daily Living

Assistive Technology

Home Improvement Agencies