For every one of us, regardless of whereabouts in Herefordshire we live, how well-off we might be or even how healthy we might be, there will come a time when making changes to our home makes sense. That might be due to simply getting older, and a need for relatively simple home adaptations, but for many it might be because of disability and a need for larger scale changes.
Home adaptations of any scale can make life easier and safer. They also empower us to live independently without the need for moving home or thinking about care homes.
A range of choice to solve a range of problems
When it comes to home adaptations, the options can be overwhelming. That is because everyone is different, with different needs. There are adaptations to make getting up and down stairs easier and safer, adaptations to make using the toilet and bathroom easier and a whole range designed to let you use your kitchen in the ways you like to. Some adaptations can affect the entire home, such as making a home wheelchair-friendly by widening doorways. Others, such as ramps and grab rails don’t require any building work and can be installed easily.
Getting Help from your Local Council
Home assessments are free of charge. These are provided by an Occupational Therapist from your local authority who will visit your home and recommend the changes you might need to live comfortably, safely and independently.
Occupational therapists are trained to know all about home adaptations and to ask you the right questions to make sure you get the right things in place for you as an individual. These home visits typically last for about an hour, and you may be asked some questions about things like how you manage at home, everyday tasks you might find hard and sometimes personal questions about using the bath, shower or toilet. It is important to be honest.
You can get in touch with your local council by telephone, there is also a government website where anyone anywhere in England can start the process of getting a home assessment; you can find it here.
Needs assessments are also offered free from your local council, they differ from home assessments as they look at what support, care or extra help you might benefit from at home. It is often a good idea to request a needs assessment before your home assessment.
You can learn more about needs assessments and why they are a good idea.
Getting Help with Costs
A needs assessment and home assessment combined will give you a good idea of any changes you should make in your home, and whether those changes should be small or large ones.
Depending on the outcome, you may not have to pay for the home adaptations yourself. For example, if specialist equipment is recommended by the occupational therapist, then it should be provided for free. Typically, home adaptations costing less than £1,000 are often provided for free as local councils will generally cover these costs.
Large scale adaptations, such as conversions and wet rooms however, will require building work and will inevitably cost more. The local council may not be able to help with this, but there are ways to get help with these costs from grants, charities and home improvement agencies.
One of the most popular grants available for people looking to for help with home adaptations is The Disabled Facilities Grant. This can be worth as much as £30,000 in England and £36,000 in Wales and GB Electrical & Building Services have an in-depth guide on our website on how to apply and what to expect. You can also download our DFG Frequently Asked Questions pdf.
Other potential funding information sources include:
- Disability-grants.org A site with up to date information regarding help from trusts and charities
- The SSAFA An organisation dedicated to support armed forces veterans
- Turn2us.org.uk A website where you can search for disability adaptation grants In Herefordshire by entering your postcode
- Community Care A list of charities who provide grants for eligible people
- Independence at Home, You must be referred by a charity or social worker
You can also visit the Home Improvement Agency website to find agencies in and around your area and find schemes that may be able to help you cover the costs of larger scale home adaptations.
If you would like further help and advice about home adaptation services in Hereford, get in touch, we would love to help.