Adapting your home

If you are struggling to move around your home or do all the things you used to, it may be prudent to look into completing some disability home improvements. There are many potential changes that can be made to your property depending on what you need.

It is impossible to underestimate the value of such adaptations in terms of their worth to you, rather than in a financial sense. In many cases one or more adaptations (whether minor or major in nature) could make the difference between and help you live a more independent lifestyle.

What types of adaptations are available?

Everyone has different requirements when it comes to the types of adaptations that can be made. For instance wheelchair users will likely need ramps and they may also benefit from lower work surfaces in the kitchen so they can reach everything more easily.

Essentially all adaptations fall into one of two categories:

Major work – this work generally involves building work and alterations to the property. Examples include building an extension and putting in a ground floor toilet.

Minor work – this area encompasses all the smaller jobs that don’t take as long to complete. For example you might have grab rails installed to make using the bathroom easier. Another example would be installing a ramp so you can manoeuvre a wheelchair from outside into your home without tackling any steps.

In contrast other people will be more mobile but they may not have enough strength to do everything safely. In this situation they may benefit from grab rails in the bathroom and other similar adaptations that will give them more stability, support and confidence. Grab rails are fairly cheap and easy to install but they can make a world of difference to those who use them.

Another typical example of a popular installation is of course the stair lift. They come in a variety of styles and designs for different people and budgets. In many cases they are fixed to the stairs rather than the walls for safety reasons. In addition you can purchase them for straight or curved staircases to suit your particular home design.

A homelift is another option. By cutting a hole through you floor you can install a lift that will transport you from one floor to the next. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, with larger models taking a wheelchair and a carer in style. They are more expensive than a stairlift but can be the ideal solution for people who would struggle to transfer onto a stairlift.

The most appropriate way to get started is to think about what you struggle to do each day. Is there a particular room you have trouble accessing or tasks you can’t perform as easily anymore? For some people it will be getting in and out of their property that is the biggest challenge.

Make a list of the things you have trouble with and keep this close by. It will help you when you start finding out more information about what you can do.