Adapting your home

Peter walks with a stick and is very wobbly.  We put in bannisters up the stairs and rails all around the house.  Our external doors have been changed so they have a flat threshold.  We’ve also put a ramp in at the back door.

- Miranda, whose husband Peter was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, aged 62

Photo of a day clock - it reads "Now Its Thursday Morning"

You might find small changes at home can make a big difference to daily life.  Grab or handrails can help getting round the house and fixing ramps in place of steps takes away a trip hazard.  

Easy-grip kitchen utensils and cutlery may make cooking and eating easier, or installing a stair lift might make climbing the stairs safer and more manageable. A walk-in bath or shower seat can make bathing more straightforward or you may find that an adjustable bed or rising chair can be useful.  

There is a very wide range of products on the market.  If you have access to an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, they may be able to suggest particular products or recommend adaptations that will help you maintain your independence at home. 

VAT relief

You can get VAT relief on a range of appliances and adaptations to your house.  These can include

  • adjustable beds
  • stair lifts
  • wheelchairs
  • alarms
  • braille paper or low vision aids - but not spectacles or contact lenses
  • building-work-like ramps, widening doors, installing a lift or toilet.

The supplier you deal with may be able to give you a VAT relief form.  If you are in England or Wales, your local council can also help you.

We have had to continuously adapt the home to meet Mum’s needs with items such as grab rails, bath chairs and posture chairs.

- Rob Perry, whose mum was diagnosed at 52 with young onset frontotemporal dementia

Unforgettable.org and Independent Living provide a comprehensive source of useful information and advice as well as online purchasing or suppliers listings for a wide range of products that promote mobility, independence and safety.

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