If you’ve recently lost mobility or been diagnosed with a particular condition, you may find yourself in the position of needed to adapt your home to suit your new needs.
Home Adaptations: What Do You Need?
Depending on your condition, you may need some or all of the following:
- Grab rails installed in bathrooms and toilets.
- Doorways and passages widened to provide access for wheelchairs.
- Light switches, door handles, bells and security keypads moved so you can still reach them.
- New bathroom or kitchen facilities installed at ground level so you don’t have to negotiate stairs.
- Lifts or stair lifts installed.
- Ramps installed over stairs.
- Alarms and other alert devices installed.
- Levelling, compacting or creating accessible exterior approaches.
- Installing specialized furniture or other equipment.
Some of these things may be simple adaptations that can you can buy and install yourself, but others require extensive building work and may incur a hefty bill.
Financial Aid: What Could You Be Entitled to?
Depending on the cost and nature of your adaptations, you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover some or all of the costs. Government agencies, charities and private individuals offer funds to help people who can’t meet the costs of adapting a home.
Carefully read the requirement of funds you apply for to check that you are eligible.
Where to Go For Help
In the UK, there are numerous funding sources available. Check each one to see if you are eligible.
- Disabled Facility Grants (DFGs) are offered by local councils to help toward the cost of adapting your home. These grants can provide funds to widen halls, install ramps, improve heating, installing stair lifts, and adapting lighting. The grant is means tested against your income and outgoings and you may need to contribute some money toward the cost of the works. The maximum you can receive is £36 000.
- You may also be eligible for the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which helps pay for someone in a care agency or to give you personal or domestic care.
- Elizabeth Firm Care provides financial assistance for people who live hand-to-mouth. These grants can be used to purchase things vital to your life, including adaptations to your home.
- Some councils, such as Liverpool, have programmes which can get disabled people into accessible homes supplied by the city. This can be a good option if all other financial aid options have been exhausted.
- The Family Fund helps parents of disabled children, and can be used to fund adaptations to a home.
- There are many other private companies and funds available to help with your needs. Ask your local disability services agency for help locating different funds.
If you need to make adaptations to your home so that you can access it, you should consider applying for financial aid to help meet the costs. Many home adaptations can be expensive – including installing lifts and widening hallways. Applying for financial aid can be scary, but the grants and funds are there to help people just like you – good luck!