If you are finding things difficult at home there are plenty of things that can be done to help make life easier. Following an assessment from an occupational therapist (LINK), adaptations may include making physical changes to your home, such as installing ramps, but there are also much smaller adjustments that can be made to help you.
Read on for some useful tips and links to some other pages full of advice.
Where do I start?
You might find that special equipment and adaptations to your home can help you and the person you care for with day-to-day tasks.
There are some useful tips here for equipment around the home that can help.
You might want to:
- Make adaptions to the home (such as installing grab rails, ramps or creating a wet room).
- Buy equipment and aids. These could be walking aids, special chairs, aids to turn taps and pour water, or cutlery that is easier to use.
- See if telecare, alarms and sensors could alert you if the person you care for needs help.
Some adaptations costing less than £1000 may be funded by the local authority, and there may be grant funding to help with larger alterations.
Find out more about care equipment, aids and adaptations on NHS Choices.
Age UK gives a number of ideas on how to adapt a home. The local councils can discuss any adaptations that might be needed (subject to eligibility).
What about security?
You may be worried about security, especially if the person you now care for is more vulnerable. Here are some tips to help you feel safer.
- It might be a good idea to put up a key safe outside the front door in case the person you care for cannot come to the front door. Age UK can supply and fit key safes (there is a cost). Visit their website here.
What about safety?
If you are concerned about a person’s safety in the home you might find that Telecare will provide peace of mind.
Telecare monitoring systems can help keep the person you care for safe when you are not there.
Sensors on appliances and doors around their home, or worn by them, can let you know if they are doing something out of the ordinary or need help.
Some telecare systems do not need anyone to remember to do anything as it works automatically. However, pendant or wrist alarms are popular and mean someone can call for assistance easily.
There is usually a cost for telecare so get in touch with your local council to find out if telecare could help you and the person you care for, and if there is help to pay for it.
Telecare can help the person you care for remain independent for longer. It can also reassure you that you will be contacted if they need help.
How does telecare monitoring work?
If a sensor detects a problem it will get in touch with you, or with a call centre that is available 24 hours a day. These sensors can detect if the person you care for:
- Has fallen
- Is having a seizure (movement alarm)
- Has got up, or left the house unexpectedly. This could be detected by a pressure sensor in the bed or by a door and can be very useful if the person you care for has dementia
- Is very cold (hypothermia alarm)
Find out more about telecare and alarms on NHS Choices.
Can I get help to pay for changes?
Under the Care Act 2014, every local authority has certain obligations when providing adult social care. This means that, depending on their needs and financial situation, the person you care for may be entitled to a significant amount of help from their local council.
The best place to begin with claiming support from the local authority is by getting what is known as a Care Needs Assessment or a Needs Assessment. LINK