How to get home adaptations if you’re blind or partially-sighted. And some of the best adaptations you can have.
If you’re blind or partially-sighted, adapting your home could help you continue to live there independently. To provide you with the best information possible about home adaptations, this article is split into two sections:
Organising home adaptations is one thing but how do you know which adaptations will help you best? An occupational therapist will be able to offer some advice and guidance on this subject but they may not provide an exhaustive list. We’ve listed some general ways you can adapt your home and also specific adaptations that can help you in certain rooms.
Contrasting colour highlights differences between things, making it easier for you to distinguish between them. Some examples of where you can use contrasting colour include:
The general principle of colour contrast can be applied to almost anything related to home adaptations.
Simple improvements in lighting or changing where lights are in rooms can help you traverse your home more easily. You might want to:
A few choice selections can help make sure you get great adaptions for your home.
Electrical appliances can be fiddly to use. But there are things you can do to make them easier to use:
There are a number of things you can do to help you out in your bathroom:
To help you get around easily in the kitchen you could:
Hallways can often be overlooked in home adaptations. Here are two simple but useful things you can add to your hallways:
Adaptations for your home also mean any outdoor work that needs doing. This might include:
Home adaptations can be a good time to check and improve your home’s security by:
We’ve talked about some of the adaptations you can install in your home but now we need to look at how you can fund the process and what financial help you might be entitled too. You also need to find the right people to do the job professionally and in a timely manner.
To qualify for adaptations, you and your home must first be assessed. You can apply for a needs assessment from your local social services department. They will come and assess your home and decide whether or not you are eligible for home adaptations. You will also need to be assessed by an occupational therapist, who will help you decide which adaptations are best for your needs.
If social services and the occupational therapist agree that you need adaptations to your home, you may be awarded a Disabled Facilities Grant. This is a grant that helps you get the adaptations you need. It is available to both homeowners and tenants up to a limit of £30,000.
However, the grant is means tested. This means if your income and savings are above your outgoings for basic needs, you might not receive a full grant that covers all the costs. And any shortfall will have to come from your own funds.
But if your income and savings fall below your outgoings for basic needs, then you will be eligible for the full grant. You will automatically be eligible for the full grant if you receive income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, or guaranteed state pension credit.
An example might make it clearer. Let’s say your income is £15,000 per year. The means test finds that your outgoings for basic needs are only £10,000. In this case, the grant awarded will only cover a certain percentage of the total cost of your adaptations because the test has found you have income above your basic needs. So you will have to contribute a percentage of the total cost of your home adaptations.
On the other hand, if you qualify for a grant but it doesn’t cover the full cost (and you’ve contributed from your own funds if necessary), you might be able to get further financial help from your local council. This help can include low cost loans and grants for private home owners.
But help may not always be financial. Councils might also provide other forms of assistance, such as helping you move to more suitable accommodation if they think the benefit is similar to that of improving your existing home.
A recap on how the Disabled Facilities Grant works: you need to contribute to the cost of adaptations when your income and savings are higher than your outgoings for basic needs. You do not need to contribute if your outgoings for basic needs are higher than your income and savings or you receive certain state support.
For more information and clarification, you should contact the environmental health or housing departments of your local council.
Disabled people do not have to pay VAT on home adaptations. So you may be eligible for VAT relief on some of the cost of your home adaptations. If you do qualify, anything done to prepare for or clean up the work is also eligible for VAT relief.
Homes that have been adapted to help disabled people are also eligible for a council tax reduction of one band. For information, check out the Gov.uk website on council tax.
Home improvement agencies are non-profit organisations that can help you arrange home adaptation work. The services they provide include:
There are different home improvement agencies for England, Scotland, and Wales.
If your home adaptations are going to be major, then make sure you have planning permission. This can often be discussed during assessments. But your local council’s website will tell you how to check if you need planning permission.
And if you choose to find your own tradespeople for your adaptations, to ensure they are fully qualified for the job and operate legally you can use websites such as the National Federation of Builders or TrustMark.
Helping you live easily in your home
Home adaptations are a great way of enhancing your home and making it easy for you to do everything you need to on a day-to-day basis. This article outlines just a few ideas that can make a difference. But you should consult an occupational therapist to see what they recommend before going ahead with any adaptations.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify for home adaptations, you should contact your local social services department to arrange an assessment.
Links to everything mentioned in the article:
For years, the Household Quotes Team has been the trusted partner for homeowners and tenants throughout the UK, ensuring they never overpay for essential home improvements. Whether it’s a malfunctioning boiler or the need for new windows, we believe that everyone should have access to affordable home maintenance. Our goal is to make it easier for you to keep your home nice without breaking the bank.