Home adaptations, equipment and aids

You can make changes to your home or get equipment to help you with day-to-day tasks and activities such as getting:

  • in and out of your bath
  • around indoors or outdoors
  • dressed
  • on and off chairs
  • in and out of bed
  • making a hot drink or a meal
  • going up and down the stairs
  • using a telephone
  • watching television or listening

Types of equipment

There are a range of things that you can buy to help you with:

  • personal care such as, grab rails
  • bathroom and hygiene such as, raised toilet seats, commodes and bath boards
  • bed equipment such as a bed raiser
  • moving around the home such as, walking sticks, zimmer frames or hand rails
  • chair adaptations
  • preparing food such as, lever taps and adapted kitchen utensils.
  • your safety and peace of mind for example, if you had an injury or fall ill at home. Such as a alarms and telecare equipmentincluding vibrating alert alarms, personal loop systems for deaf/deafblind/hard of hearing people.

Types of adaptation

  • Minor adaptations include: fitting lever taps in the kitchen, installing a ramp to your front door, or hand rails around the home
  • Major adaptations such as: installing a downstairs shower room, widening doorways, or lowering the work tops in your kitchen

Age UK England have a helpful factsheet on adapting your home.


Choosing and buying your own equipment

Your Equipment Newcastle can help you find equipment to help you. You answer a few questions to get a personalised report. This can help you choose and buy equipment for your home, without having to wait for an assessment.

Your Equipment Newcastle make life easier in 3 simple steps Choose a topic Answer some questions Get a personal report and advice from occupational therapists on products that might help www.YourEquipmentNewcastle.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Get advice to find the right equipment

It is important to get the right advice first, to avoid making an expensive mistake. There are a number of services that can offer advice or assessments to help make sure you choose the right equipment for your needs.


Local help and advice

Disability North give independent living support and advice. You can visit their office to see and try out aids and equipment. In their demonstration area they have stair lifts, a kitchen, bathroom and shower. They also have walkers, bed risers, shoes and wheelchairs. They can help you to choose and buy equipment to suit your needs. They also have a list of second hand equipment that’s available to buy.

Your doctor or GP surgery can put you in touch with the Newcastle Equipment Loan Service, to borrow items free of charge. Or they can refer you to NHS Disabled Services Centre for an assessment.

Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council can give you information and advice. Call them for a chat to find out about local support. They will work with you to understand your situation. To find out what’s working well and where they can help. They can put you in touch with local services. If you need one, they can arrange a Needs Assessment to find out if the council can help you further. Some people are eligible for financial help from the Council. This could include equipment or adaptations to your home that could make your life easier. If you can’t get financial help, they can still tell you about services that could make your life easier.

Care & Repair Newcastle offer advice on equipment. They can offer you a free loan to buy a stair lift or ceiling hoist. They manage the Disabled Facilities Grant.

Peacocks Medical Group have a shop in Newcastle City Centre where you can see and buy equipment.

NHS Disabled Services Centre at the Freeman Hospital, is the centre for:

  • amputee rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs
  • wheelchair and special seating: this includes wheelchair repairs
  • artificial eye services

To use the NHS Disabled Services Centre you need to be referred by your hospital surgical team, after an amputation. Your doctor, GP and other healthcare professionals can refer you to this service too. You will then be given an appointment to attend the clinic for and assessment and support.


Online information and advice

Your Equipment Newcastle is an online self-help tool. Answer a few questions to get your personalised report which tells you small pieces of equipment that can help you manage at home.

Scope provide information and support to disabled people, families and carers. They have a free disability telephone helpline. They can answer questions and talk you through a wide range of topics connected with disability, such as: equipment and assistive technology, benefits and social care.

Disabled Living Foundation provides advice about equipment for older and disabled people.

Equipment and Services Chat BOT a virtual adviser that can direct you to services and equipment

RiDC conducts consumer research on products for older and disabled people. They have launched Rate It which enables you to read reviews of products by customers. They have produced a helpful guide to bath accessories to help you get in and out of the bath.

Equipment catalogues are available online from shops such as Boots or Argos. Some charities also have catalogues of products such as Age UK England.


Buying second hand equipment

Disability North have a list of second hand equipment for sale.

Disability Equipment Service is the largest source of second-hand equipment for sale in the UK.


Fitting your own equipment

Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council can give you advice about adapting your home. They can arrange for you to have a needs assessment to find out if you can help from the Council. They will give you tailored information and advice to help you find the right equipment or aids.

Disability North can give advice on different types of equipment and adaptations, where to purchase it and how to arrange for the work to be done.

If you want to fit your own equipment, you can arrange for a reliable tradesperson or handyperson to carry out the work.  Find more information on our article Getting repairs and decorating done.


Maintain and repair your equipment

Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council can give you a list of companies who can help with maintaining your equipment.


Maintain your stairlift

These organisations can help if your stairlift (or other types of equipment) need repairing or maintaining. They will explain the cost of call out and repair:


Hire equipment

It may be more cheaper to hire equipment such as wheelchairs, bathroom aids or walking frames if you only need it for a short time. You can hire equipment from


Borrow equipment

Newcastle City Loan Equipment Service (NCLES) provides equipment to help with your daily living and nursing needs at home. This is a free service. You borrow equipment for as long as you need it. When it’s no longer needed they will collect the equipment, clean it and reuse it. They install, maintain and repair a wide range of equipment. The equipment available to borrow includes:

  • Toilet seats, frames and commodes
  • Walking sticks, walking frames and standing equipment
  • Pressure relief products
  • Lifting and handling products
  • Specialist beds and seating
  • Bath and shower boards, seats and rails

To borrow equipment you need to have an assessment. Speak to your:

You can return your equipment to NCLES when you no longer need it.


Help to pay for equipment and adaptations

Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council can give you information and advice, to help you find the right equipment or adapt your home. They can arrange for you to have a needs assessment to find out if you can help from the Council. They can then arrange for you to have a financial assessment to find out if you are eligible for help towards the costs of your support. If you are eligible for support from the Council they will work with you to find what you need. If you need equipment or changes made to your home, Adult Social Care can arrange for this with you.

Check you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

Care & Repair Newcastle help disabled and older people to apply for loans and grants to adapt your home. This includes: Disabled Facilities grants and loans to repair your home or to buy a stair lift or ceiling hoist.

Read more on InformationNOW on how to pay for adaptations to your home.


Home owners or private renters

If you live in your own home or in a privately rented property, you may be able to get a disabled facilities grant to help pay for equipment and adaptations, such as installing ramps, stairlifts and bathroom equipment costing over £1000.

Adult Social Care at Newcastle City Council can give you information and advice, to help you find the right equipment or adapt your home. They can arrange for you to have a needs assessment to find out if you can help from the Council. Even if you are not eligible for help from Adult Social Care they can give you information and advice to help you find the right equipment or aids.

Your Equipment Newcastle can help you to find and buy small pieces of equipment to help you manage at home. Answer a few questions to get your personalised report.

Care & Repair England have a workbook which helps you to think about your Housing, Care and Related Finance in Later Life.


Social Housing or Council Tenants

Speak to your housing provider to find out what help they can give you.

If you live in a council house, you can ask Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) to make the necessary adaptations to your home free of charge.


Charities that help with equipment and aids

Care & Repair Newcastle  with Newcastle Council offer a free loan to buy a stairlift.  Community Health & Social Care Direct will arrange an occupational therapy Needs Assessment to make sure you get the right product.

Caring Hands Charity offer a range of small equipment aids, free of charge and also offer some equipment aids for loan or sale. They also have a limited budget to help people on a low income get small aids. You can access this service with an assessment carried out by a social or health professional. See their website for further information.

Citizens Advice Newcastle has information on charities that can offer financial help to former employees from a particular trade who are struggling to pay for the items they need.

Independence at Home provide small grants for people who have a physical disability, learning disability or long term illness and are in financial need. They provide small grants that include:

  • Home Adaptations
  • Mobility and Travel Equipment
  • Special Disability Equipment
  • Communications Equipment

You can’t apply directly to this scheme. A professional health, social care or advice service worker can help you to apply for a grant.

Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA) offer a range of grants, some of which can be used for equipment and aids that arent provided by NHS or local authorities. Health and Social Care professionals can apply for a support care grant for someone diagnosed with MND. Anyone living with MND can apply for a quality of life grant

REMAP designs and provides free aids for disabled people.

Royal British Legion support veterans to get funding and grants to adapt your home and receive new equipment.

SSAFA Forces Help or ABF The Soldiers’ Charity may be able to help pay for equipment and adaptations if you are a veteran.

The Chronicle Sunshine Fund is a local North East charity that provides specialist and adapted equipment to children and young people aged 0-19 living with disabilities, additional needs, chronic and terminal illness. They fund equipment that cannot be provided by NHS or local authorities.

Turn2us helps you find charitable funds and grants to apply for, when you need money for essential things in life. For example, equipment and aids, furniture, household items, electrical items, studying, bringing up children, experiencing life changing circumstances and more. They have a telephone helpline, benefits calculator and online information.


Children’s equipment

Special equipment, adaptations and aids are needed to support children as they grow.

Turn2us is a charity where you find charitable funds and grants to apply for, when you need money for essential things in life. For example, equipment and aids, furniture, household items, electrical items, studying, bringing up children, experiencing life changing circumstances and more. They have a telephone helpline, benefits calculator and online information.

Whizz Kids supply mobility equipment across the UK and support young wheelchair users through skills training, clubs and employability.

Children Today provide specialised equipment for children and young people with disabilities throughout the UK. The aim is to ensure that every disabled child and young person fulfils their potential and leads an active childhood. Equipment can include wheelchairs, walking frames, tricycles and other mobility aids along with multi-sensory equipment.

Your Equipment Newcastle provides an online self-help tool that provides professional advice and guidance for those who would like help to live independently at home.


Tax relief on equipment

If you’re disabled or have a long-term illness, you won’t be charged Value-added Tax (VAT) on products designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use such as:

  • Mobility Scooters
  • Stairlifts
  • Wheelchairs

To get the product VAT free your disability has to qualify. For VAT purposes, you’re disabled or have a long-term illness if:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, eg blindness
  • you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
  • you’re terminally ill

See gov.uk for more information.


Telecare, telehealth and personal alarms

Telecare, telehealth and personal alarms can help you to live well at home. Giving you and the people who care for you confidence and peace of mind that you are safe. Also known as personal alarm systems, home care monitoring, careline systems, community alarms or pendant alarms.

There is lots of equipment that can help you:

  • remember to take medication or switch off appliances
  • lock doors
  • get help if you have a fall or a flood

Check you’re claiming the right benefits

There are various disability-related benefits that may be available to you including:

See gov.uk for more information.

Last updated: March 20, 2024