Housing adaptations can help older people and disabled people to live independently in their own homes. They can reduce the risk of falls and other accidents in the home and also the need for home care or long term admission to a care home.
If you are disabled, or someone else in your household is disabled, you can get help with a range of adaptations to your home. For example:
- replacing a bath with a level access shower;
- making it easier to get into and out of the home by widening doors or constructing a ramp; or
- fitting lower work surfaces to make the kitchen easier to use.
The process for obtaining housing adaptations depends who owns the property to be adapted. The Scottish Government has produced a guide for each housing :
In each case, an assessment of need will be undertaken, usually by an occupational therapist. This will identify the help needed and ways of meeting those needs, including through adaptations. As a starting point, contact your local authority (or housing association in the case of housing association tenants) for more information. A number of organisations give free and independent information and advice on adaptations and other housing matters to older people and disabled people.
The Scottish Government published Guidance on the Provision of Equipment and Adaptations to local authorities and NHS Boards in 2009. The guidance aimed to help modernise equipment and adaptations services. A Guide to Funding a Major Adaptation is also available.
The Adaptations Working Group made recommendations on the future organisation and funding of housing adaptations. The Scottish Government is now working to take these forward.
Right to adapt common parts
The Scottish Government is working to make it easier for disabled people to get adaptations made to common parts. Common parts are those areas of the building that are not owned by any one person, such as the front door and common stairs in a block of flats. In 2011 the Scottish Government consulted on regulations to give disabled people the right to make adaptations to common parts of the building where they live.