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Home Adaptations For The Disabled

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What are the benefits of adapting a home?

The primary reason disabled people adapt their home is to make it safer and easier to move around in. Home adaptations can enhance the simplicity and safety of everyday routines such as cooking, cleaning, climbing stairs and using the toilet, providing a valuable boost to independence and confidence. Making small, practical changes to your home, such as lowering kitchen worktops to make meal preparation easier or widening a door frame to provide enhanced access to a particular room. Adapting your home can also allow you to continue living in the comfort of your own home, rather than moving to a residential care home or a hospice. And, long-term, it can be cost-effective in improving your physical and mental health and helping you to avoid injuries.

How to adapt a home for the disabled

When adapting a home for a disabled person, it’s important that safety is the number one priority. At Helping Hands, we specialise in home care and work with our customers, social services and occupational therapists to make sure the right safety measures are taken and that relevant equipment is installed to enhance independence and confidence. We also help our customers to re-think room layouts to improve accessibility, and plan extensions that can transform the usability of areas of the home. We’re dedicated to providing our customers with innovative, transformative home adaptation solutions.

Here are some of the ways, both big and small, in which homes can be adapted for the disabled:

  • Installing a stairlift or fitting a bannister on the stairs
  • Adding a hoist to the bath, installing a walk-in shower or fitting a set of grab rails to help with getting in and out of the bath
  • Widening doorways to allow for enhanced wheelchair access
  • Reducing the height of kitchen worktops for ease of use
  • Installing an outdoor ramp
  • Increasing home security with fittings such as outdoor lights and an intercom system

Funding options for disability adaptations

Depending on the size, cost and necessity or your changes, you may be eligible for financial assistance. Your needs assessment and home assessment will determine your eligibility for funding. If an occupational therapist or a social worker determines that you require specialist disability equipment in order to remain mobile and independent in your home, then you will be provided with the relevant equipment for free. Minor home adaptations of less than £1000 might also be paid for by your local council if you meet the relevant criteria. This can include installation of handrails, ramps and intercom systems.

Councils will not pay for larger home adaptations, such as projects that involving building work like installing a lift. There are alternative sources of funding that can be explored, however, with a number of grants, charities and services set up to provide financial assistance.

Local authorities are able to provide disabled people with a Disabled Facilities Grant to enable them to make larger adaptations to their home. The Disabled Facilities Grant is awarded subject to a means test, so your household income and savings will determine the amount of financial assistance you’re able to receive. The criteria for means testing is established by the local authority, so you’ll need to contact them for more specific information about your eligibility requirements.

If you live in England or Wales, you can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant by clicking here.

Page reviewed by Rebecca Bennett, Regional Clinical Lead on November 30, 2021