Equipment and adaptations

Equipment you might need:

  • personal alarm for help raising an emergency
  • additional stair rail to help you get up and down the stairs safely
  • grab handle to hold onto when getting in and out of your home
  • chair raisers to take the strain out of sitting down or getting up from your chair
  • major equipment such as a stair lift or hoist, ramp or level access shower. Before we recommend a major adaptation, you may have a period of reablement to try to improve your independence in everyday life.

You may contact our information and advice team by contacting customer services about any of these equipment types for your home. Information about the cost of support can be found in our money matters area. 

Personal safety equipment

If you live on your own and need help to raise an alarm in an emergency, there is equipment that can help such as wearing an alarm pendant, either worn around the neck or wrist. Pressing the button sends an alarm to a control centre where staff can arrange to get the help you need, immediately.

Assistive technology and telecare:

  • increases independence and confidence
  • manages or minimises risk
  • enables the person to live at home for longer
  • reduces input for carers and carer stress.

All occupational therapy referrals and general enquiries can be made through our customer services referral and advice team. You will be able to speak with someone trained to give you specialist advice about the difficulties you are having.

Other warning or alarm equipment that can be installed in your home:

  • gas or smoke 
  • extreme heat 
  • flood
  • fall sensors
  • someone leaving the property
  • someone managing to get in or out of bed safely.

These types of devices are known as assistive technology. Telecare is a form of assistive technology that uses devices installed in your home, that automatically alert their community alarm centre that something is wrong. This type of technology comprises various devices which can enable people to remain living in their own homes more independently. 

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy assess the needs of people with disabilities and provide support to promote independence, and to enable individuals and their carers to improve their ability to manage their daily lives. 

Occupational therapists can help people with an illness or condition by supporting them to learn or relearn the skills necessary for daily living. This may involve setting goals around the difficulties the individual is having and working towards these to increase confidence and independence. In some cases, occupational therapy staff may need to give advice suggesting alternative practical ways of doing things.

If you require a mobility assessment for a walking aid, are experiencing falls at home or require assessment for a wheelchair you should speak with your GP for a referral to the community physiotherapy team, falls team or wheelchair services.  

Minor equipment and adaptations

If you have problems moving around your home, managing personal care or completing food preparation there is a range of specially designed equipment and adaptations to make your life at home easier and safer.  

Moving around your home
  • a perching stool to avoid standing for long periods of time, such as when washing dishes or preparing food
  • a kitchen trolley can be useful in transporting food and drinks to the table.
Personal care
  • bathing equipment to aid getting in and out of the bath
  • if you have difficulties managing the taps, alternative lever taps may be helpful
  • toilet equipment such as raised toilet seats, rails and frames may assist with getting on and off the toilet.

If you choose to order equipment yourself, you will be responsible for the costs of what is purchased. However, if following our assessment we agree that you need equipment to make your day to day living easier, then we will pay the cost of the loan of that equipment.

Major adaptations

In some cases, an occupational therapist may to need to advise on major adaptations to make your home more suitable so that you can continue to live there or maintain your independence. Our housing department can provide Disabled Facilities Grants to pay or help pay for alterations under the Care and Repair service.

Some typical examples of major adaptations include:

  • ramped access to a property
  • widening of doorways for wheelchair accessibility
  • installation of a stairlift
  • creating level access shower facilities
  • lowering of work surfaces in kitchens.

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