Independence in the Home and Community: Adaptions, options and technology

There are lots of adaptions that can help you be or stay independent.  These include kitchen equipment, such as easy open tin openers, kettle tippers, adapted utensils and chopping boards.  There is equipment to help dressing, from equipment to doing up buttons, to Velcro, to equipment help with putting on shoes, socks, tights (there is also Adapted Clothing Look under Clothing on this site.  There is a lot of equipment for the bathroom, like non-slip mats, grab rails, bath or shower seats and non-slip footwear.  There is a lot of mobility equipment, from scooters to walking sticks, frames and wheelchairs.  There are personal safety alarms, telephones with large buttons, large display, light flashing options.  Tthere is the option for stair lifts.

If you feel you need support, you can arrange for your Council to do a Support and Care Needs Assessment, where typically an Occupational Therapist or Social Worker will come and assess you and make recommendations for equipment, or adaptions to help you.  If the recommendations cost up to £1,000, they should be free over this.  There could be a charge.  For expensive adaptions, look into the Government's Disability Facilities Grants.            

The following links should increase your Independence by providing equipment for your needs:

Buckinghamshire County Council Equipment House.  Here is an identifier of equipment to make life easier.

ASK SARA is an independent living resource that asks you questions about your daily life and areas of difficulty to find you workable solutions.  It covers aspects of your health, aspects of your home and daily activities, such as eating and drinking, personal care, clothes, shopping, cooking, household chores, communicating and leisure.  There are also solutions for children.  You answer easy questions for tailored advice. 

Disabled Living is a registered Charity providing advice and information about disability equipment, like bathroom equipment, chairs, communication aids, stoma products, clothing aids and adapted options and more.  There is a directory.

Buckinghamshire County Council housing adaptations help and how to make a Occupational therapy referral.  So, they can assess what modifications may be helpful around the home.

Safe and Well Buckinghamshire, helping you identify and try out equipment to help with daily living equipment to meet your needs and help you stay independent.

Buckinghamshire NHS Wheelchair Services.  This video is the Leeds Trust.

Wheelchair Services NHS.

This video gives an idea what to expect from an NHS wheelchair.  This video is from Leeds NHS.

NHS Wheelchair Services, Leeds 

Neater provide practical situations for conditions like Ataxia, Cerebral Palsy, tremors, Muscular Dystrophy and other conditions, such as effecting co-ordination.  This can include useful equipment to make independent eating much easier and you can have an assessment. 

Look at a video example from them here:  

Telecare Services Association lists suppliers of personal alarms for the home, should you, for example, fall and need help, someone is notified to help you.

Stair Lift Reviews, to help you select the correct stair lift product for your needs.

Essential Aids.  Major online disability aids for daily living.

Red Cross Short Term Wheelchair Borrowing Service.

Care Advice, Buckinghamshire.  All aspects of care advice and support for Buckinghamshire.

Home Care provides personal care support in Buckinghamshire.

Home Equipment for Disability Assessment from your County Council.

Social Care Needs Assessments: This government site allows you to ask for a County Council Needs Assessment to get help with your care at home, such as to help you with support services at home or to get access to Supported Living. Also, see under Housing.  In this video from Warwick County Council, they explore the social care needs of different individuals and how it works for them.  It also helps increase independence and give others a rest.  They explain the social care assessment from a Social worker. 

Mencap Easy Read Guide to getting a Social Care Assessment.  This Easy Read booklet looks at how people get care support, such as to help with being independent at home, or to show a need for supported living, or a need for equipment or adaptions at home and to get care support.  The assessment of your life at home can involve a visit, like from a Social Worker or OT who will assess you and how you manage with tasks.  This could, for example, be your ability to be independent and do tasks, like make a cup of tea.  The assessment typically takes one hour to decide if you are eligible for support and funding for your care needs.

Bucks Care and Support looks at local support and services available to help people that need social care support, such as in areas of housing, like the local supported living options.  It also looks at the local employment options, like Supported Employment from Back to Base, volunteering options and support in other areas to be independent, like managing money.

Wikki How is a website where they claim that you can learn to do anything with simple instructions and visual pictures.  It can provide practical simple help for day to day tasks. 

The Friendly Information Company have developed a training pack for people with learning difficulties to explore energy use in the home, to help with household bills and being sensible and sustainable at home.

Remap Charity.  Custom made equipment for disability, promoting independence, solving real life problems, be they in the home, for day to day life, work.  If you are a disabled parent this Charity can help with a practical issue, or help you get involved in leisure to help you overcome disability and participate.  They design and make a solution to your problem when other solutions have not been found.

A couple of video examples from Remap of very different issues and solutions. 


Demand also design and manufacture products finding solutions to an individual's disability problem, like Remap.

Designability is a Charity made up of engineers and product designers to help people with disabilities, find a product solution to a day-to-day problem.  The individual identifies the problem they research and make a solution to increase independence.

Disability Facilities Grant to pay for adaptions at home due to disability.

Living Made Easy Charity, providing adapted living equipment so you can search for a solution.

Independent living products from the Independent Living Foundation.  They are a Charity that provide advice, information and training on equipment for independent living.

MK Centre for Integrated Living offers an information and advice disability service about independent life, covering help with benefits, mobility, blue badges, transport, leisure and holidays.

Smart Homes are helping people with different disabilities, either with physical or learning disabilities, to use technology to develop a Smart Home using different devices.

Able Link YouTube Video of how Smart Homes and technology can help people with learning disabilities live more independently 

NBC News.  YouTube Video Looking at the role of assisted technology to live independently with disabilities.


Shopmobility can be found in many major towns and provides mobility equipment, like scooters and wheelchairs people can hire when out like going shopping.

Shopmobility, High Wycombe Video 

RiDC Research Institute for Disabled Consumers.  They research consumer products for disabled people, including, but not limited to, mobility products, like scooters, wheelchairs and cars.  Includes research, user reviews to make informed recommendations on products for independent life.  They help businesses understand the market and improve products and voice issues of consumers.   

RIDC Video.  Get involved and rate some products to help others and read some reviews that could help you! 

Better Mobility lists charities providing grants for mobility equipment.     

Focus on Disability is a large, comprehensive not-for-profit database of disability information, advice and products throughout the UK.