Funding for home adaptations
Written by Angela May Published: 12 August 2019
New data is showing that the collective spend on Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) has grown by 25%, and council funding for such home adaptations is at a 10 year high.
It is still one of the UK’s best kept funding secrets: it is a pot of money available through local councils to cover alterations to a disabled person’s home to enable them to live as independently as possible. Almost anyone can apply- the disabled person themselves, or someone on their behalf- a carer, or even the landlord(*).
It is a means-tested Grant, but won’t impact on any benefits. The main criteria are that the adaptations are necessary and appropriate, and reasonable and practical. It covers alterations from simple grab rails through to stairlifts, even changing a conventional WC for a wash & dry toilet, or adding a toilet lifter can be funded this way.
The DFG findings follow hard on the publication of new guidelines by the main people involved in the assessment for adaptations, Occupational Therapists. Their professional body- the Royal College of Occupational therapists is endeavouring the streamline the process, to deliver Adaptations Without Delay (AWOD).
It is advising a person-centred approach, that looks at the person’s priorities and needs, the nature of the activities the person is struggling with, environmental barriers to independence, and the types of solutions required. It means that people with other, relevant skills will be utilised to assess, commission and implement adaptations where appropriate.
To our mind, anything that makes life easier for disabled people and their carers, that empowers them to stay in their homes, with dignity and independence, provided the right checks are in place, is great. If it means that even one less person is faced with having to use a commode in their lounge rather than be able to go to, and use, their WC, that can only be good. (*) https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants