Assistive Technology - for living at home
For many people, it's important to stay in their own familiar surroundings but, at times, you may need support to live independently. A range of services, equipment and changes can make life easier and improve your quality of life. These services are provided by Cheshire West and Chester. Their Home Assistance Hub offers confidential advice, support and assistance to help older people and disabled home owners repair, improve, maintain or adapt their home to meet their changing needs. If your home needs a lot of work, you may be able to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant.
To qualify for this, you need to have been assessed by an Occupational Therapist to see what adaptations are necessary. All applicants will undergo a financial means test unless the adaptation is for a disabled child. This will tell you whether you will be required to make any financial contribution towards the works identified. Contact the Cheshire West Community Access Team on 0300 123 7034 for more information or to request an assessment. As well as helping home owners apply for grants for disabled adaptations, the Home Assistance Hub runs a handyperson scheme, advises on reliable contractors and oversees all aspects of repair or improvement work commissioned by the Hub.
For further information and contact details click here.
An adaptation is a piece of equipment or fixed modification to a property that enables people to live more independently and comfortably in their home.
Equipment solutions are not permanently fixed to your home and are usually supplied to customers via Cheshire West and Chester Council in situations where people have mobility difficulties or other disabilities. Some examples of equipment are bath seats or lifts, commodes or walking frames. Fixed Adaptations are split into two categories defined as ‘Minor’ or Major’.
What work is considered a Minor Adaptation?
Minor Adaptations are classed as items of work costing less than £1,000 that provide low level assistance.
We carry out minor adaptations without the requirement for further assessment in circumstances where the solution is simple and straightforward such as the installation of lever taps or grab rails.
If your circumstances are considered personalised such as a significant alteration to external steps or a wall to floor handrail, you may require an assessment with an Occupational Therapist or Social Care Assessor.
For further information and advice about minor adaptations please contact us on 0300 303 9848
Typical Minor Adaptations include:
- Fitting handrails, stair-rails and grab-rails
- Reducing the height of front/ rear steps
- Installation of an electrical plug socket
- Fitting of lever taps
- Fitting of wall mounted equipment (shower seat)
- Installation of fluorescent lighting
What is a Major Adaptation?
Any adaptation work that exceeds £1000 requires an assessment via an Occupational Therapist or Social Care Assessor, for further information please contact your local council.
Please be aware that Disabled Facilities Grants are subject to a financial assessment, this is to ensure that there is fairness and transparency and that the Council’s DFG budget is used appropriately
The area you live in will determine which Council to contact;
- Cheshire West and Chester Council on 0300 123 7034 or online
- Cheshire East Council 0300 123 5500 or online
Typical Major Adaptations include:
- Access Ramps
- Level Access Shower’s
- Through Floor Lift’s
- Extensions to a property
- Structural Changes within the property
There are some situations when the Trust is unable to approve permission for major adaptation work. Further detailed information and some examples are explained in our FAQ's.
Your questions answered
How do I get a Level Access Shower/ Ramp/ Stairlift?
We maximise the use of our housing stock in accordance with the Adaptations Policy, therefore work should not be carried out at the property without first obtaining permission from the Trust, this will usually be requested by the Occupational Therapist following an assessment of need.
This type of work is classed as a major adaptation, to discuss this in more detail Please contact your local council . They will arrange an occupational therapy assessment if appropriate. Click here to find your local council
I have heard there are equipment solutions to help me manage better at home such as a bath lift/ raised WC seat, do you provide these items?
We are unable to assist you with an equipment solution. If you need support to live independently in your home, you may be able to get help from other organisations who can offer information to make life easier and improve your quality of life.
I don’t want a raised WC seat, I would prefer the installation of a higher toilet, can you install this for me?
There are a variety of suitable raised WC seats that fix to an existing standard height toilet. For further information and assessment please contact your local council.
I am a new tenant; can I have an Adaptation?
We are unable to approve permission for major adaptation work during the first 12 months of your Tenancy starting unless there has been a significant change in your health since you signed your Tenancy Agreement.
We can, however, assist you with any minor adaptations which may help you to live independently. For further information please contact us on 0300 303 9848.
If you have experienced a significant change in your health and need further support and advice, please contact your local Council.
I live alone, can I have an Adaptation?
Yes - We provide minor adaptations to assist all customers regardless of who occupies the property.
I have just bought a mobility scooter; can the Trust install a ramp to facilitate access to my property?
We are unable to approve ramp requests to solely support the storage of mobility scooters within our houses, flats or bungalows. Please refer to the Trusts’ Mobility Scooter Policy. Please refer to the mobility scooter policy here
I am living in a 2 bed house and am now having difficulty accessing the property, climbing the stairs and getting in and out of the bath. Would the Trust agree to a stairlift and Level Access Shower being fitted?
We would not normally approve permission, we look to maximise our housing stock to meet the needs of our customers and do have a range of 2 bedroomed ground floor accommodation that would meet the needs described. Available properties are advertised via West Cheshire Homes Website, click here for more information and to complete an application form for re-housing via your local Council.
I am living in a fully occupied 3+ bed house with my family, I can no longer manage the stairs, bathing and accessing the property is a challenge for me, would I be considered for a Level Access Shower/ Ramp or stairlift?
We have limited 3+ bed ground floor accommodation. If you would like to be considered for a Level Access Shower/ Stairlift or Ramp you would need to contact your local council for further information. They will arrange an occupational therapy assessment if appropriate.
I have lived in my house for many years, my family have grown up and there is only me living here now, my mobility has deteriorated, how can you help me?
We can support with minor adaptations such as hand- rails however, this is usually a temporary solution as mobility issues tend to worsen over time. To support our customers, we do have several ground floor properties including flats and bungalows.vailable properties are advertised via West Cheshire Homes Website, click here for more information and to complete an application form for re-housing via your local Council.
I have an existing adaptation fitted in my home that I don’t require anymore, can this be removed?
We appreciate that our customers do not always have an indefinite need for adaptations fitted within their homes. If you would like the Trust to consider removal of an adaptation please contact us on 0300 303 9848.
How will I know if you have approved my request for a minor adaptation?
You will be advised immediately when you contact us regarding the processing of your minor adaptation request. We utilise guidance from The Royal College of Occupational Therapists ‘Adaptations without delay’ to provide the best possible service to our customers.
What do I do if a major adaptation recommendation is not approved by the Trust?
There are some situations when we are unable to approve permission for major adaptation work. We will explain in writing why the adaptation has not been approved and the reasons for this. We will also inform the Occupational Therapist or Social Care Assessor who made the recommendation for you. There may be more suitable housing that would meet your needs and advise around re-housing will be given to you. You will be notified in writing including how you can contact us if you are dissatisfied with our decision.