Home adaptations are essential to ensure you have great quality of life when you live at home in later life. Here we look at different adaptations and ways to fund them.
As we get older, the home that once worked for us suddenly becomes problematic for all sorts of reasons. The steps down to the garden that were once a way to get to the lawn, are now the thing that prevent you getting to the grass at all. The upstairs toilet seems so far away, especially when your bladder isn’t as strong as it was before. The front step is a struggle to get up and when you step down it you don’t feel safe anymore.
The home can change into an unsafe place when you get older, which is why adaptations are made to ensure you can remain in your home safely and happily and opt for home care services rather than moving to a residential care home. This is often a more cost effective approach because of the high cost of care home fees.
When you’re new to home adaptations and you’re trying to get the best value for money, and make the right choices in terms of the changes you need, it can all be a bit overwhelming.
There are lots of different types of adaptations you can make, some more expensive than others:
- Access – Getting into your home might require a permanent or temporary ramp, hand rails next to the door to hold on to, or lighting outside and on the path for when it is dark.
- Bathroom & Toilet – You might want a walk in shower or bath, or a seat for your shower. Flood detectors are handy for bathing safety.
- House Mobility – You may wish to have a stair lift to help you get up and down the stairs, or perhaps an external lift to help you get to different parts of the garden. Grab rails can be used all of the house for greater security, and door widening is something you could do if you use a wheelchair.
- Eating & Cooking – The kitchen might need to be lowered if you are wheelchair bound. Cupboards and accessories can be adjusted for easier access.
Age UK provide an excellent free guide to adapting your home which is ideal if you’re looking for a good base of information to begin your research with.
The Costs Of Adapting Your Home
Adapting your home is going to cost money, there’s no way around it. However, there are cost effective ways to do it, and possibly ways to get help with the costs too.
Your local social services department should be your first port of call if you want help with adaptations. There tends to be help available for changes that cost under £1000 if you are eligible. Larger, more expensive adaptations could be covered by a grant, again if you are eligible. You will need to approach your council for information on this type of grant to see if you are able to apply.
You might also be able to get help from something called a home improvement agency, which is basically a charity that could help you with advice on funding.
Remember, there is a lot of help out there for you and although it might seem daunting now, the end result of your adaptions is going to be wonderful and help improve your quality of life. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, and consider starting with speaking to friends and family about your needs so you don’t feel you’re going on this journey alone.