Inside and outside your home

To make your life easier inside and outside of your home there are a wide variety of adaptations that can be made, or products that can be bought which will allow you to control your environment to maintain independent living.

It may be possible to obtain funding for adaptations and improvements to your home, depending on level of disability and requirements.

Read more about the Disabled Facilities Grant here.

Inside your home

Smart speakers - using new technology to control your environment

drop in communication hubSmart speakers, which are available from Amazon, Google and Apple, are voice activated devices which can be wirelessly linked to other smart devices or equipment around your home in order to control them.  For example, you can switch the TV, lights or appliances on and off using the smart speakers. If your smart speaker has a screen or is linked to a screen, you can see the news as well as hear it.  Taking the level of control further, it is also possible to control your heating and the opening and closing of doors.

As more household equipment is becoming smarter, it allows a greater degree of control over the home, making life easier for anyone with restricted movement.

Read and watch the Smartening Up your Home story from Geoff Adams-Spink as he shares the technology he has chosen to help around his home.

Electronic aids for daily living

Environmental control units, also known as Electronic Aids to Daily Living (EADLs), allow many persons to independently control their environment. These include such areas as room temperature, lighting, TV, stereo, etc. Persons who lack the mobility to turn switches, open and close curtains, adjust the temperature, etc. in conventional ways may do so with special remote control.

Visit the Mobility Smart website for more information on daily living aids

Kitchen

When planning a new kitchen, it’s important to consider the requirements of everyone who’ll be using it. A kitchen is not just a place for cooking and eating, it’s also a sociable space for gathering and simply spending time together as a family. So with that in mind, here are a few tips to help you plan your ideal kitchen:

Neff Slide and Hide
  • Choose the right layout making sure this is accessible
  • Create a safe preparation and cooking area
  • Consider appliance safety
  • Ensure generous storage
  • Look to the future for any changing needs

Popular Adaptations:

  • Boiling water taps
  • Drop down cupboards
  • Slide and hide ovens
  • Flexible taps

Some of our beneficiaries have had their kitchens designed with their specific needs in mind - take a look at their stories.

Useful Websites

Teka Taps and Sinks

Neff Slide and Hide Ovens

Quooker Hot Taps

Design Matters Kitchen Designers 

Bathroom

When designing your ideal bathroom it is important that you consider your current and possible changing needs.

Popular Adaptations:

  • Walk-in & level access showers with half height shower doors or fixed screens that are wheelchair friendly
  • Shower seats: Fold-away shower seats and added comfort chairs with extra padding, arms and back-rest
  • Lower step shower trays to reduce the risk of falling
  • Wet rooms for a modern look that allow for greater ease of movement, maintenance & cleaning
  • Height adjustable wash basins
  • Bespoke grab rails:
    • Coloured rails for the visually impaired
    • Non-slip and easy to grab rails
  • Taps that supply hot water on demand and taps with thermostatic options to avoid accidental scalding
  • Heated towel rails, underfloor heating and efficient space-saving radiators
  • Recessed lighting, discreet lighting and light mirrors

Useful websites:

Best Showers

Showers from Bathrooms.com

Premier Bathrooms

A guide to choosing the right shower for you from the Bathstore

A review of the best walk-in bathtub companies from the Consumer Affairs website

Clos-o-mat "Asana"

Combined wash and dry toilets

Clos-o-Mat and Geberit are major manufacturers of automatic shower (wash and dry) toilets, which enable anyone with limitations to toilet with little or no help, enhancing their hygiene, independence, dignity and privacy. For more information please visit the following manufacturers' websites:

Clos-o-mat

Geberit-aquaclean

Washloo

Information on stair lifts

How to get financial help with the cost of a stairlift from the Stairlift Reviews website

Choose the best stairlift at affordable prices on the Stairlift Guru UK website

A review of the best stairlift companies from the Consumer Affairs website

A guide to understanding the costs of a stairlift from the Stairlift Helper website


Outside Your Home

Ramps and rails

Ramps and rails can make access to your home much easier, particularly if you are a wheelchair user, use a walking aid or have poor mobility. It is worth contacting your local Council, as most will offer help with this (it may be subject to a means test). Even if you are not eligible for the council funding, they may have a service that can arrange this for you and ensure the work is done correctly.

What are the rules and regulations in my town regarding the installation of a ramp?

Most cities in the UK tightly manage the rules and regulations regarding zoned building access for those with disabilities. Most ramps are required to have a careful design with very specific minimum widths and maximum slopes. The correct measurements and requirements of a properly constructed disabled ramp are as follows:

  • The maximum slope for hand-propelled disabled access ramps should be 1″ of rise to every 12″ of length while the maximum slope for power chairs should be 1.5″ rise to 12″ length.
  • The minimum width inside the ramps rails should accommodate the standard width of wheelchairs which is 36″ (However as some wheelchairs can be extra wide, 48″ is ideal).
  • The surface of the ramp, also referred to as the deck, should be built with side-rails so that users are protected from slipping off the edge of the ramp.
  • A level platform of at least 5’ X 5’ should be built at the top of the ramp to allow for wheelchair or the manoeuvring a disabled individual might need.
  • The end of the deck (where it meets the ground level) should provide a smooth transition from the ramp to the ground.
  • Every building that includes disability access should provide 2 other accessible exits in case of emergency.
  • Surfaces of ramps should be slip resistant when wet.