Adaptations to your home

Adapting for physical disabilities  or illness

If you are finding it hard to manage in your current house or flat, you may want to consider altering or adapting it to suit your needs.

  • You can get information, advice and help on all aspects of making alterations to your home from your local council's housing department. Some local councils may be able to help with discretionary grants for adaptations to support you, for example, to return home from hospital or to make things easier if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • You may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant from your local borough or district council to pay for alterations. Grants are means-tested and applicants must have a permanent and substantial disability in order to be considered. An Occupational Therapy assessment is required to support the request for a grant.
  • Depending on your specific circumstances, it may be possible to arrange for small adaptations or for the loan of certain equipment through your Adult Social Care department. This will usually follow an assessment by an occupational therapist.
  • You could search our Community directory. Select 'Community support/activities' and then 'House or garden help'.
  • Age UK have some top tips for a more comfortable home.
  • If your home needs major adaptations to make it suitable for your needs, you may wish to consider other housing options. See our Care homes and other housing options information section.

Adapting for dementia

Simple suggestions such as making your toilet bowl a different colour or even just using brighter lights could improve the quality of life of people living with dementia.

Ensuring a colour contrast between the toilet seat, bowl and bathroom floor makes it easier for those with dementia to find the toilet, reducing their risk of incontinence. Yet, minimising colour differences between the kitchen and hall floors could lower the risk of tripping or falling.

Dementia patients may also benefit from having their curtain rods extended to allow more light into rooms. Reducing reflective glares and noise may also improve their quality of life.

A new, free app, developed by the University of Stirling, may make the above recommendations in just 20 minutes after it digitally assesses how dementia-friendly your home is. The Iridis app can be downloaded from the Google Play and  Apple iTunes stores.

Further information

Independent Age has advice about home adaptations.
Disability Rights UK have a Factsheet on Housing Grants.