Adaptations to your home

Sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your home to make it easier to move around in and continue to live there safely and independently.

Adaptations that could help you

Changes to the structure of your home, such as fitting a stair lift, installing a bed hoist or fitting an access ramp may be able to help. These are called major adaptations and can make a big difference to your quality of life and help you maintain your independence.

The following are just some examples of adaptations which may help maintain or your independence.

Stair lifts

Stair lifts may be able to help you to carry on getting up and down the stairs and make the difference between staying in your current home or needing to move on elsewhere.

Get free stairlift advice from Age UK.

Access ramps and wheelchair lifts

If you have to use special equipment such as a wheelchair and have small numbers of steps within your home from one room to another you might want to consider installing an access ramp to your home. The type of ramp you will need will depend on the size of the step you want to overcome and the type of equipment you use.

In some cases, a ramp may not be the right solution and you may need to install a wheelchair lift to help you negotiate steps. These can be particularly useful if you have a flight of steps up to the front door of your property.

Changing the layout of your home

Changing the layout of your home may help if you are no longer able to use some areas of your home safely. You will always need advice from qualified builders if you are considering making changes, such as:

  • Widening doorways so you can use a wheelchair
  • Replacing your bath or shower unit with a level-access shower, or changing your toilet
  • Adding a downstairs toilet or bathroom so that you don't have to keep using the stairs

If you are thinking about making changes to your home and want to arrange the work yourself, it's important to make sure you find a reputable and responsible tradesperson.

More about selecting an honest trader.

Smaller pieces of equipment

There is a range of equipment available which may also help you with daily tasks around the home like cooking, getting dressed or getting in and out of bed.

Find out more about equipment that can help you.

How to get help

If you are having trouble making use of your home safely, we always recommend you approach us for an assessment, no matter what your circumstances. Having an assessment is free of charge and it can help you and others understand your needs better and it will help you think through the options.

An occupational therapist will visit you at home and consider how best to support you. This will include assessing whether an adaptation to your home would be an option and if there are any smaller pieces of equipment which may be able to help. If they agree that a major adaptation is needed, the Home Improvement Agency can help with the process.

Telephone: 020 8891 7436
Email: hia@richmond.gov.uk

Paying for adaptations

You may be able to get help with the cost of a major adaptation to your home. We will consider your financial situation and work out if you can get money to help pay for the work through the Disabled Facilities Grant.

Updated: 25 September 2019