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Major home adaptations

A wide range of help is available to support people with disabilities and help them to live more independently in their own homes.

Finding a more suitable home

If you think your current home is no longer suitable, adapting it may not always be the best solution. There may be other homes already adapted or more suitable for adaptation that would suit your needs.  Moving home is a big decision.  Housing Option Services (opens in a new window) have been developed across most of Dorset to provide older and disabled people with the information, specialist advice and practical support that they need to enable them to make informed choices about whether to move to a more suitable house or to stay in their existing home.

You may also wish to consider making an application for a more suitable housing association home that is already adapted or more suitable for adaptation. Councils across Dorset manage the waiting lists for housing association properties. To be considered for a housing association home you need to make a housing application (opens in a new window). Your occupational therapist will be able to support you with making an application for more suitable housing.

Major adaptations

If your home needs a major or complex adaptation, a Dorset Accessible Homes Grant - previously known as a Disabled Facilities Grant can be used to pay for a range of adaptations to ensure that you have access to facilities within your home.

The grant is provided by your District or Borough Council and is administered and delivered by The Dorset Accessible Homes Service (opens in a new window), who work closely with Occupational Therapists at Dorset County Council.  At the start of the process the Dorset Accessible  Home Service and/or your Occupational Therapist will work with you to assess what would help you. Sometimes they may recommend  equipment (opens in a new window) rather than an adaptation as this may suit your needs better and can be arranged quickly.

For eligible works over £5000 the grants are means tested (except in the case of a grant for a disabled child), so depending on the disabled person's income and savings, they may have to contribute towards the cost of the work.

If you are a Housing Association Tenant your landlord may also set aside funds each year to pay for adaptations.

What is the grant available for?

Dorset Accessible Homes Grants are available for:

  • making it easier to get in and out of the home e.g. ramps
  • making it easier to get around the home and access to their bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen e.g. door widening or stairlift
  • help the disabled person to care for another person
  • making it easier to use the toilet, bath or shower e.g. installing a shower rather than a bath
  • to provide safe access to a part of an outdoor space e.g. garden
  • making it safer to prepare and cook food e.g. lower food preparation surface
  • improving or providing a suitable heating system
  • helping to control lighting, power or heating e.g. by relocating controls.

Detailed information about the Dorset Accessible Homes Grant including the eligibility criteria can be found in our grants and loans policy. (pdf, 315kb) (opens in a new window)

Who can apply?

Owner occupiers and tenants can apply for a Dorset Accessible Homes Grant.  You can also apply for a grant for a disabled person who lives with you or a disabled child.

What happens if I'm not eligible for a grant to carry out the adaptation work?

You may decide to pay for the work yourself. Dorset Accessible Home Service (opens in a new window) can provide you with help and advice about the solutions that are best for you.

Can I do the work myself?

Yes. If you are a tenant you will need to get the permission of your landlord first, before starting any work.  Dorset Accessible Home Service (opens in a new window) can provide you with help and advice about the best solutions.  They can help organise the work and help appointing trustworthy contractors.

How do I make an enquiry for help?

For more information about the help available to make your home more accessible contact the Dorset Accessible Home Service:

Telephone:  0333 00 300 10

Email:  dorsethiacontactus@millbrookhealthcare.co.uk

Where can I get further information?

Further online information aimed at older people, their families and carers is available from First Stop (opens in a new window).

For a wide range of advice, information and support for adults to live safely and independently at home in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole see My life my care

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