If you have a permanent and substantial physical or sensory disabilities, you can get equipment to help, or have changes made to your home. If you’ve had an accident or operation, ask about short-term equipment loans from hospital-based therapists.
‘Daily tasks’ (also known as ‘Activities of Daily Living’) include:
There are gadgets and equipment that help many people manage these activities independently: For example, pick-up sticks (often called ‘helping hands’) are useful if you can’t reach your feet or pick things up from the floor. Tap-turners, jar-openers and key-turners can help if you have poor grip or weak wrists.
If you are having difficulties, ask for an assessment.
You will be visited by an occupational therapist or care manager who will assess your needs and agree a plan of action with you. The occupational therapist may recommend minor or major adaptations to your home. Depending on who owns your home (you, the council, Housing Association, or a private landlord), the recommendations will be sent to the organisation or agent who can make the changes.
If major adaptations are needed in a privately-owned or privately rented home, you can apply for financial assistance. (Ask for the leaflet ‘Disabled Facilities Assistance – a guide to adapting your home’.)
If you have problems walking, your GP may refer you for a mobility assessment, usually at a local outpatient clinic.
After the assessment, you may be lent some equipment to help you live independently or to be cared for in your own home. Social Services and the Local Health Board have a joint service and store. There is no charge for borrowing equipment.
Examples of equipment loaned include:
Wheelchairs for long-term loan are supplied by the NHS through an Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre (ALAC). Your GP or occupational therapist can refer you.
Attendant-pushed wheelchairs and commodes are available for short term loan, (for example, for going on holiday), through the British Red Cross
An adaptation is the alteration of the disabled person’s home to enable better access and use of essential facilities. An example of these would be a ramp, stairlift, or door widening. If adaptations are recommended, the arrangements and funding will depend on who owns the property you live in. In some circumstances there will be a financial assessment.
For owner occupiers and private tenants, Disabled Facilities Assistance may be available
If you disagree with your assessment or the proposed provisions you can ask for a reassessment. If you’re unhappy with the quantity or quality of service provided you should discuss this with the service provider, your occupational therapist or your care manager.
If you wish to purchase equipment privately, there are a number of local and national retailers who sell disability equipment. It can be purchased on the Internet and at a number of supermarkets, DIY and general retailers and pharmacies. There are also specialist disability equipment companies, some of whom may offer home visits.
We would advise that for larger items you arrange to have the item demonstrated and trialled before you make a purchase.
The Health and Social Services Community Equipment Service cannot refund the cost of any items purchased privately.
Please note that if you are considering the purchase of a mobility scooter, you will also need to consider how you will store and charge it before you make a purchase. We only provides ramps for wheelchairs that have been prescribed by health professionals and we don't provide storage and charging facilities for scooters.
To find out what exactly your needs are, we have to carry out an assessment. This can take place at home and you can have a friend or family member there to support you.
To ask for an assessment, check eligibility and see costs, please use the button below: