More and more homes now have at least one older adult or person with disabilities which means there’s an increasing need for more accessible homes. If you’re one of these people or know someone who is you’ll appreciate that a person’s home needs to be adapted to meet certain needs. There is equipment you can use to help with walking and mobility and for certain tasks at home. However, sometimes it’s necessary to make significant changes to a property so that it’s easier to move about and use your home safely and independently.
- Adaptions to Consider
Before you start making any changes, it’s important to seek specialist advice from a trained health and social care professional. They’ll be able to advise you on the adaptions that will be right for you. The changes that might be suggested include adding a stairlift, access ramps, wheelchair lift, and making improvements to the heating and lighting. The layout of your home might also need to be changed. This type of work might include widening doorways, replacing shower, bath or toilet facilities with more disabled friendly options.
- Choosing Builders and Workmen
If you live in rented accommodation, you’ll need to ask permission from your local council or landlord before making any changes. If you own your own home and are paying for the adaptions out of your own pocket, there are many companies that can help. Disability lifts for commercial buildings or your own home, for example, should be installed by a recognised professional company. It’s important to choose reliable tradespeople and once you’ve decided what work needs to be done, you can search online. Check out a company’s reviews or ask them to provide testimonials from previous customers.
- Financing the Adaptions
Adapting your home can be quite challenging if your budget is a limited one. There are, however, a number of grants available to those in need. Those of you suffering from a long-term condition may be entitled to receive a grant from your local housing department that can be used to cover the cost of any changes. To be eligible, you must own or rent your property and intend to stay there for the next 5 years. Landlords with a disabled tenant can also apply for a grant.
The grant is called the Disabled Facilities Grant, and any changes you require must be deemed necessary and appropriate for your needs. Your needs will be assessed as part of an occupational therapy assessment. Planning permission may also be required for major adaptations. The maximum grant you can currently receive is £30,000. It’s a means tested grant so you may have to contribute towards the cost or pay it all.
There are a number of other agencies who can help with advice if you have to look after an elderly or disabled relative or if you have mobility issues yourself. It’s important for anyone to be as independent as possible as it can help a person cope with such a situation.
Home Adaptions for Older People and People with Disabilities - Let's Fix It