Aids And Adaptations

We are committed to helping you to remain in your home, living an independent life. However, it may be that you, or someone in your household, would benefit from certain aids and adaptations. Perhaps this could be fitting a raised toilet seat, or grab rails by doors.

We try to adapt our residents’ homes, where someone is elderly or disabled, in order for them to stay there for as long as they wish to do so. This however is subject to Estuary Housing Association having sufficient funding.

If you find yourself in the position where you think an aid or adaption to your home would be useful, we have put together the following guide to help you with the process.


The First Step

If you, or someone permanently living with you, find it difficult to get around your home and you believe adaptions will help, you will need to speak to an Occupational Therapist.

Most of the time, this will be through your local borough council. Please be aware there may be a delay in your request being dealt with as Occupational Therapists receive many requests and use a priority order system, so check with your local authority for approximate waiting times.

An Occupational Therapist will discuss your needs and refer your details to the relevant department. They may also require you to complete an assessment form. If you have difficulty completing this, you can contact your Housing Officer for help, or you can ask the Occupational Therapist Department, and they will guide you through it over the phone. You then return the completed form to the Occupational Therapist Department.

We will only do work that the Occupational Therapist recommends, so it important that they fully understand your needs.

Residents also have the option of installing the aids and adaptations themselves, at their own cost, using qualified operatives and other approval criteria. In this instance, please fill in a Resident Improvement Application.


What Happens Next?

An Occupational Therapist will consider your needs based on the information given and, depending on that assessment, you may be visited at home to further discuss your situation.

A report will be prepared making recommendations for aids and/or adaptations to your home. If the recommendations involve fixing any permanent aid to your home, like grab rails, then we have to give our permission before the work can be carried out. The report will be sent to you and a copy will also be sent to us.

If the recommendations involve installing movable equipment, like a shower chair, or raising the height of your toilet seat, this may be carried out by the Occupational Therapy Department and we may not be involved.

Each application for aids and adaptations work is subject to available funding. Depending on the cost of the works it might be that your application cannot be approved immediately, especially if it is a major job.

The Occupational Therapist tells us what work they think needs to be done to your home. We have a restricted budget to carry out works and demand for aids and adaptations is high. Therefore it may be necessary to place your application on a waiting list, but you will be advised if this is the case.

If you require major works, we will ask our surveyor to visit your home with the Occupational Therapist to make sure that the adaptations are appropriate for you and your home is suitable for the proposed works. This again will be subject to funding being available and we may need to apply for Grant funding to help fund the work in these circumstances.

When the report is received by the council, depending on the Local Authority, they will either deal with the request themselves or ask Estuary Housing Association to undertake the work.

If Minor Work Is Required

If minor work is required, for example fitting grab rails, Estuary have a handyperson who can carry out small scale works such as grab rails.

If Larger Scale Work is Required

If the work recommended is on a larger scale, for example building a ramp or installing a downstairs bathroom, depending on the cost of the project and taking into account your level of income, either an application will be made for a disabled facilities grant, or if funding is available we will undertake the work.

In any case, we will have to give our permission before any works can be started.

We will contact you to discuss the proposed works.

Disabled Facilities Grant

A disabled facilities grant may be available from the Council to help towards the cost of adapting your home.

Examples of types of work are;

  • Widening doors
  • Installing ramps
  • Installing level access shower
  • Installing a stair lift
  • Adapting heating or lighting controls

The grants department of the Council will contact you to fill in an application form. You will need to provide information about your income.

If your application is successful, all works will be carried out to the specification of the Occupational Therapist and any surveyor involved on the project.


Who can claim for this work?

If you are the resident you can claim for yourself, or if a member of your household is, or has become, disabled you can claim on their behalf.

Once the request is received there is criteria that we assess:

You will need to certify that you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, intend to occupy the property as your, or their, only, or main, residence throughout the grant period (currently five years).

The occupancy of the property.

The extent of the work.

The likely ongoing needs of the person requiring the works.

 If your application proceeds, a representative from the Environmental Health Department of the Council will visit you to talk about the disabled facilities grant and to assess whether or not you will have to pay anything towards the work.

Sometimes the Council, like us, have already allocated all the available funding for the year at the time of your application and it may not be possible to start the work straight away.

If it is the Council contractors who carry out the work, it is your responsibility to let us know when all work is completed this is so that we can update our records and ensure we have the right maintenance information for future repairs and servicing.

Estuary will need to post inspect all major works undertaken in our properties regardless of funding.


Maintaining the Adaptations

Estuary will maintain most of the aids or adaptations to your home. Sometimes we will need to charge you for this through a service charge.

If aids or adaptations are carried out by other organisations, for example the Council, they will give you specific information about the maintenance.

Estuary will need to post inspect all major works undertaken in our properties regardless of funding.


Useful Contact Numbers

Southend on Sea Borough Council
01702 215000

Thurrock Council
Occupational Therapy Department
01375 652 868

London Borough of Havering
Email: Customer Services – Adult Social Care
01708 432000

London Borough of Redbridge
Email: Client Services
020 8708 7333

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Initial Contact
020 8227 2915

Suffolk District Council
Customer First
0808 800 4005

For all other areas within Essex, contact Essex County Council
Adult Social Care line
0345 6037 630