Home adaptations can be small or large, but are always installed with the goal of improving the wellbeing and independence of the resident. Councils are anxious to provide home adaptations where possible to prevent unnecessary health and social care costs as a result of avoidable falls and accidents.
A care needs assessment from Cambridgeshire council might recommend some home adaptations. Where these adjustments would cost under £1000 to install, the council will often provide them for free. These minor adaptations might include, for example, a short stair grab rail or temporary ramp.
In some cases, more major adaptations might be deemed necessary for maintaining the health and wellbeing of your parent. These can be anything from widening doorways, to installing level-access showers, or even, in some cases, small extensions. Funding these more expensive adaptations requires a means-tested assessment to determine eligibility for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
This page will help you find out how you can get a home assessment, the first step in finding out what home adaptations might benefit your relative and how to secure funding.
Getting a Home Assessment in Cambridgeshire
A home assessment involves an occupational therapist assessing the needs of your relative within their own home and determining which, if any, home adaptations would improve their health and wellbeing. An occupational therapists’ report is necessary when applying to get funding via a DFG grant.
Home Assessments and indeed the entire home adaptation process (including funding applications), are organised by Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs). These are not-for-profit organisations that act on behalf of a local council for residents within their area. Below are the different HIAs across Cambridgeshire and their contact details. Get in contact with the HIA in your relative’s area to get advice and information on home adaptations, home assessments and funding.
Cambridge City, Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire
Grants Available in Cambridgeshire for Larger Home Alterations
The caseworker assigned to fulfilling your relative’s home adaptation will take you through the process of acquiring a grant. The main grant that is allocated nationally is the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). There may also be smaller, local charity grants available, depending on the area, which your HIA will be able to signpost you towards.
These grants rely heavily on a report from an occupational therapist. If you would like to pursue a funding application independently, you can get a council-approved occupational therapist using the following contact numbers:
- Cambridgeshire Direct: 0345 045 5202
- Peterborough: 01733 747474
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
The DFG is reserved for home adaptations of up to £30,000 in England and is a means-tested, government funding scheme. That means that the amount of money your relative will receive towards any home adaptations is dependent on their savings.
Residents can still apply for home adaptations and a DFG if they are renting, as long as they plan to live in the property for at least 5 years and all DFGs will be managed by your local HIA.
To apply for the DFG, you will have to contact the HIA that corresponds to your relative’s area, who will then guide you through the application process.
Handyperson Schemes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
For smaller home repairs, very minor alterations and DIY; the council might be able to supply a handy-person. In some cases, the council will pay services, however, you may have to pay for the work yourself.
The idea of this service is that small, easy household jobs that would usually be carried out by the owner or resident, can be done for a small cost by a council-approved and DBS-checked handy-person.
You can find the contact details and more information for the handy-person schemes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough below.