Making adaptations in the home for the elderly – what you can do and how to find support for costs

Posted by Gabriel's Angels on Jan 14 2022

Making home adaptations will allow it to be safer and easier to move around in – giving elderly and disabled people far more scope to live independently. Home adaptations for the elderly can include stairlifts and grabrails – anything that could help them get around the house or use certain facilities comfortably, and without worry.

There is a wide range of home improvements that can be made and they can be large or small depending on a person’s needs. Many adaptations are relatively inexpensive, but others are not and require extensive building work – however, people may be able to receive grants to help with the costs.

Here, we’re going to be taking a look at what home adaptations can be made, as well as the support involved – so if you’re considering making changes to yours or a loved one’s home, you’ll have a better idea of what you may need to do.

What home adaptations can be made to support home care?

Adaptations to your home can be improvements, such as installing grab rails to make it easier to get out of the bath, right through to making the house wheelchair accessible by widening doorways or placing down ramps.

Common home adaptations to assist elderly and disabled people, include:

  • Fitting of stairlifts and bannisters.
  • Installation of a grab rail to the bath or by a bed.
  • Bath lifts.
  • Walk-in shower or bath.
  • Wet room installation.
  • Laying down of an outdoor ramp or step rail.
  • Installation of motion sensor lights.
  • Lowering of kitchen tops.
  • Doorway widening.

It’s worth noting that any minor adaptations that cost below £1000 should be covered by your local council – so it’s well worth checking with them if the changes you plan to make are small ones.

Why should I make home adaptations?

Making adaptations to the home allows for you or your loved one to continue living in the comfort of their own home – and it’s a far more cost-effective than paying for round-the-clock care. Instead of having the constant presence of a carer, anyone who may need assistance with their personal care will only receive help when they actually need it – lowering care costs significantly.

Daily tasks would be made much easier by adaptations too – for example, the lowering of kitchen worktops will make it much easier to prepare meals, while the fitting of grab rails will reduce the risk of trips and falls. Overall, making changes to the home to suit the occupant’s needs will be greatly beneficial to their accessibly and independence in their everyday life.

Getting a home assessment from your local council

There are many options for home adaptations available, and your local council will help determine which changes would work the best through a home assessment. This survey will also help to determine whether you have to pay for the changes yourself or if you can get help with the costs.

The home assessment is free and is carried out by your council’s social services – it will look at the house and recommend what changes would help you to live as comfortably and independently as possible.

In addition to the home assessment, we advise you request a free needs assessment from your local council too – this sees if you would benefit from extra care or help at home, what support you can get and whether the council can help with the costs. You have the right to request a free needs assessment at any time – you could even do it before your home assessment.

Getting support for the costs of a home adaptation

Dependent on the changes needing to be made to the home, you may or may not have to pay for them yourself. This should be made clear after the needs assessment and home assessment as it’s part of the process to look at what monetary support may be available.

As mentioned earlier, any small changes costing below £1000 (the installation of grabrails, outside lights or ramps, etc), should be paid for by the local council. Larger adaptations that require extensive building work (the fitting a wet room, for example), will be more expensive and the council will not be able to pay for it. However, there are several ways in which you may be able to get support for the costs – such as from grants, charities or home improvement agencies.

Need more information about home adaptations and personal care services?

If you need more information on making home adaptations (or personal care services in general), the team here at Gabriel’s Angels are on hand to help. We pride ourselves on our philosophy of being ‘a guardian when you need one’ – care services that are designed solely to enhance the independence of our clients.

It’s through this – and our many years of experience in the industry – that we have gained a deep understanding of the difference that home adaptations can make to a person’s daily life. We can take you through your options, help you to make the right choices when it comes to making your adaptation – and even recommend appropriate grants, charities and home improvement agencies to help with any additional costs.

Give us a call on 01183 320 099 or send any e-mail questions to and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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