Equipment and Adaptations
How to get advice and support
The first point of contact with Adult Social Services is usually via the Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA) Team.
Initially support may be provided in the form of a telephone conversation where a member of staff would discuss what matters to you and what you feel the potential solution could be, taking into account your own strengths and resources. For some people it may be that information is provided to help them find their own solution, for example, local providers of equipment to aid daily living that can be privately purchased, such as perching stools, chair raisers or shower boards.
There are a number of shops within the community that sell daily living aids and the advantage of buying locally is that you can try things out for yourself first. If getting to the shops is difficult, there are also many on-line websites which sell aids and equipment.
Making minor adaptations to your home, such as fitting grab rails, hand rails or small ramps may help improve your situation. There are several options available - for example, you can purchase these yourselves and ask a family member or friend to help you fit them, or use a local builder. Other alternatives include Care and Repair, who have a Handyman Service for which there is a small charge.
Community Occupational Therapy Team
Some people may not know what will help them achieve their outcomes. They may need further advice and possibly a visit within their own home from the Community Occupational Therapy Team.
The primary goal of Occupational Therapy (OT) is to enable people to participate in the activities of daily life that matter to them, and to support them to achieve their personal outcomes.
Outcomes will be different for different people - for some it may be really important to them that they are able to get in and out of bed independently as they don’t want to disturb their family at night, for others it may be that they need to be able to climb the stairs to reach the first floor toilet.
The Team aim to support people to live as independently as possible and maximise their health and wellbeing. They will discuss with you what outcomes you wish to achieve, your support needs, how these can be met and if you are eligible for help from Social Services. This discussion is known as an assessment.
This may involve providing advice and suggestions around –
- the range of local services and resources that are there to help you
- different ways of dealing with your situation and options for change and improvement
- new skills to help you and anyone assisting or living with you, to do things around the home more easily and safely
- equipment to help with everyday tasks like washing, dressing, getting in/out of bed
Adaptations to your home
Should the outcome of the assessment recommend major adaptations to your home, such as stair lifts, level access showers or wheelchair access, there are several different ways this can be achieved, depending on who owns the property. The OT will talk you through the process and what grants may be available to you.
For some people they may wish to pay privately for the adaptations and in such cases the OT could provide advice on what is required.