Adapting the home for an older person
Adaptations may become necessary as you grow older. If you think you need some home adaptations, contact your local council and ask for an assessment by an occupational therapist (OT). The assessment is free.
Don’t forget to hold of Contact Care to get a lifeline alarm!
Here in Norfolk, most of the District Council offer a Handyperson Service if you are over 65 and wish to make minor repairs or adaptations to your home. The Handyperson Service provides subsidised rates including up to two hours free labour on a means-tested benefit. For further information read Contact Care’s article on Independent Living in Norfolk and the Handyman Service)
Small home adaptations that can help are:
- installing grab rails in a bathroom or by the front door
- adding a bath seat or electric bath lift
- fitting a second banister on a staircase
Also consider equipping yourself with:
- riser-recliner chair (much less strain on arms and wrists)
- alternatively (and cheaper) you can raise your armchair higher from the ground
- walking frame (they really help)
- trolley (excellent for carrying your cup of tea and cake through to the lounge)
- perching stools in your kitchen or shower (great for use at the sink, ironing etc.)
- lifeline alarm (it’s there with you, just in case..)
- kitchen aids like kettle tippers, easy-open can openers, adapted cutlery
Larger home adaptations:
- installing a downstairs bathroom
- fitting a stairlift
- widening doorways
- lowering worktops in the kitchen
- installing outdoor stair rails or a ramp
Here you may want to ask your local council about grants. Most Councils offer a Disabled Facilities Grant (means tested) towards the cost of making changes to your home. They may also be able to put you in touch with other grants funds available.