Adapting your home - help for the elderly and disabled

Home adaptations are changes you can make to your home which make it safer and easier to move around and do everyday tasks. Each of the borough and district councils can help older and/or disabled residents adapt their homes to meet their health needs and promote independence. They can also advise on options for grants and finance, as well as arranging the works to be carried out. These changes can be small or big and could include:

  • fitting a stairlift or a banister on the stairs
  • adding a bath lift, walk-in shower or a rail you hold to pull yourself out of the bath (grab rail)
  • widening doorways
  • lowering kitchen worktops
  • putting in an outdoor ramp or step rail
  • security, such as outside lights and intercom systems

Handyman/person schemes in Surrey

Across Surrey handyman/person services are employed or commissioned by borough and district councils, to carry out small repairs and adaptations for people experiencing difficulties maintaining and living safely within their home.

The service is open to residents, whether they own their home or rent it from council, housing association or private landlord. Charges vary depending upon local council's policy, however a range of works required to prevent falls and accidents such as installing grab rails, may be provided free of charge.

How to apply

The service can be contacted by the person who needs assistance, their family, carers or staff who are supporting them to maintain their independence. Works will be prioritised according to need and can be fast-tracked if urgent or required before someone can be discharged from hospital.

More information, including how to apply, can be found on your local borough or district council website.

You may wish to make private arrangements with a private supplier or provider, use a website such as Trading Standards local schemes to find a recommended local decorator, handyman, plumber, electrician or builder.

Making adaptations to the home

Disabled Facilities Grants

This grant is part of a national fund, used to adapt the homes of older and/or disabled residents. If you are living with a long-term condition, you may be entitled to receive this grant to cover the cost of any changes that need to be made to your home.

This could be to:

  • Widen doors and install ramps
  • Improve access to rooms and facilities - such as stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
  • Provide a heating system suitable for your needs
  • Adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use

What is the maximum grant available?

The maximum grant you can receive for adaptations to your home in England is currently £30,000. However, it might be possible to access additional discretionary funding, depending on an individual case review and availability of funds.

The grant is means-tested, so depending on how much money you have (your income or any savings), you may have to contribute towards the cost or pay the whole cost.

How do I apply?

For information on how to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, contact your local district or borough council. They will explain the process to you which may include a referral for an assessment from an Occupational Therapist to check your circumstances and see what changes you need.

More information, including how to apply, can be found on your local borough or district council website: