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Home / Social Care & Health / Disability Services / Adapting Your Home

Adapting Your Home

Help to Stay Independent at Home

If you’re finding difficult to live safely at home there are changes you can make to your property to make your life easier. These can help you stay independent for longer.


Types of changes

Changes to your home may include:

  • A ramp to provide better access
  • A stair lift or through-floor lift
  • Fitting an over-bath shower or replacing a bath with a level access shower
  • Widening doors for wheelchair users
  • Altering your kitchen
  • Improving access to a bathroom or bedroom.


Finding your best option

An Occupational Therapist (OT) can visit you at home to find out the difficulties you have with day-to-day living. They can advise on options to help. These may include adapting your home.


Funding changes to your home with a Disabled Facilities Grant

You may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to help with the cost. A DFG may be between £1,000 and £30,000.A grant may be given for the most economical scheme that meets your needs. Minimal decoration is included but not soft furnishings.


You can apply for a DFG if you live:

  • in your own home
  • with your family
  • in a privately-rented or housing association home

or you are:

  • the parent or guardian of a disabled child
  • the landlord of a disabled tenant.

You get a full grant for the eligible work if you, or your partner, are disabled and receive one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not contribution-based ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution-based JSA)
  • Guarantee Pension Credit (not Savings Pension Credit alone)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit and/or Child Tax Credit provided that the annual income for the purposes of assessing entitlement to the tax credit is less than £15,050
  • Universal Credit (this includes any amount of Universal Credit which is being introduced from 2013 onwards as a replacement for working age benefits and tax credits).

If you do not receive these benefits we assess your finances and you may have to pay towards the cost.

If a DFG does not cover the cost, Adult Social Care may contribute. This depends on a further assessment of your finances.


When the work is finished

After the adaptation has been finished you are responsible for maintenance and repairs.

If you own the home and the works cost over £5,000, a local land charge is applied against the property for 10 years up to a maximum of £10,000. There is also a local land charge for equipment for 5 years. Tenants have a local land charge applied for equipment only for 5 years.

If the equipment is returned to us, we will not reinstate the property but the local land charge will be removed.

If you move within the time limits above, you may have to repay any amount listed on the remaining local land charges against the property.


To apply

Contact Care Direct and ask for an Occupational Therapist to visit you to assess your needs. If they recommend adapting your home, your application must be approved by the Council’s Grants Officer who can give you the forms to apply and help you complete the information. You may prefer to arrange your own quotations and make your own application. These must be to the Occupational Therapist’s specification,


If you are a council tenant

The OT sends details of your needs to Housing Landlord Services. If these meet their criteria, they arrange the work.


Other points to note

  • We can only help with adaptations if your needs meet our eligibility criteria
  • Work on adaptations cannot start until the DFG has been approved.
  • If work starts before any grant has been approved, we can only offer advice.
  • When the work is completed, if the adaptation is no longer required we will not be responsible for maintenance, repair or re-instatement of the property. We may agree to maintenance for specified equipment.


If you need a DFG but adapting your home is not possible

You may be entitled to a Relocation Grant to move home if you qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant and one of the following applies:

  • The adaptations are not practicable
  • Major work is needed and it would be better and more cost effective for you to move
  • You are a tenant and the landlord refused to agree to the work.

An OT and Grants Technical Officer must confirm the new home is suitable for adaptation.

A Relocation Grant covers some moving costs such as removals, solicitors and estate agents fees. We assess your finances to work out if you have to pay towards the cost.



To ask for an occupational therapy assessment:

Bournemouth Care Direct, Customer Services Centre

St Stephen’s Road, Bournemouth, BH2 6EB

Tel: 01202 454979

Fax: 01202 454975|


To find out more about grants:

Tel: 01202 451334|


Related Information


Postal Address Bournemouth Care Direct,
Customer Services Centre,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone Number 01202 454979
Fax Number 01202 454975
Email address Care Direct
Out of Hours Telephone Number

Out of Hours:
01202 657279

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