You will need to know what adaptations you need before deciding whether it is possible to stay in your home. You also need to work out how much work needs to be done and how much it is likely to cost.
Use our Accessibility Checklist to get an idea of the type of adaptions you may need and decide whether your home is suitable.
Things to consider include the following:
Access to your home
You may want to consider installing adaptations, such as:
- a ramp for wheelchair users to get in and out of your home
- a wheelchair lift if it isn’t possible to install a ramp
- grab rails outside the front door.
Answering the door
You could consider using:
- a door entry intercom – to let visitors in and out, both for security and convenience. You may also wish to consider an intercom with a video screen to check out callers
- a key safe – this is where a key is kept in a secure box outside the property and only certain people are given the code to open it. You might also consider giving spare keys to relatives, friends or neighbours.
Moving around your home
widening door frames and installing new doors
having everything on one floor
installing a stair lift
fitting a ‘through-floor’ wheelchair lift – this involves making a hole in the ceiling(s) and installing a lift to move between floors
If there is a wheelchair user in your household, think about:
Second banister rails can also be installed so you can hold onto both sides to help you get up and down stairs more easily and safely.
Washing and getting dressed
There are a number of different adaptations that can make washing and dressing easier, such as installing:
- a wet room – a waterproofed room with a walk-in shower that isn’t separated by a step
- a hoist to lift you in and out of the bath
- grab rails to make it easier to get in and out of the bath.
If you or someone in your household is disabled, or has reduced mobility, think about how you will get out of the property in the event of an emergency. For people with serious mobility problems, consider having your bedroom as close as possible to an exit or a safe area.
If you or someone in your household has a hearing impairment, think about installing smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or a flashing light. You could also place smoke alarms with strobe lights outside your home to get the attention of neighbours or members of the public.
Another thing worth thinking about is an emergency alarm call system – this is an alarm which plugs into your telephone and calls for outside help in the event of a fire.
Gov.Uk have produced a fire safety leaflet for those with sight, hearing or mobility difficulties.
In the bedroom
There are a number of adaptations you can use to get into and stay in bed, such as an adjustable bed, leg lifters or rails to stop you from falling out of bed.
A number of gadgets are available to people with disabilities. You can get more information and factsheets from the Disabled Living Foundation.