Adapting your home
If you need improvements and adaptations to your property to allow you to live at home safely and independently, you may qualify for help. In most cases a referral to your local Occupational Therapy (OT) service is necessary for these services.
Occupational therapy service
The type of help you get depends on who owns your property. The occupational therapist will advise you following an assessment of your needs.
You may be able to refer yourself to the Occupational Therapy service. Or, your GP or any other health professional involved in your care, such as a social worker, may be able to help you get in touch.
Private sector homeowners/tenants
If you own your own home or are a tenant in the private rental sector, minor adaptation works such as handrails and stair rails may be available through your local Trust following assessment by an occupational therapist.
Major adaptation works like adding a shower room or a bedroom extension will be processed through the Disabled Facilities Grant administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. An occupational therapist will work with you to find out what you need before giving recommendations to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Disabled Facilities Grants
A Disabled Facilities Grant from the Housing Executive can help adapt your home if you have a disability. An occupational therapist must assess what adaptations are needed.
Owner-occupiers, landlords or private tenants can get help to carry out adaptations - as long as there is a person with a disability living in the house. An occupational therapist must make the recommendation to the Housing Executive.
Social sector tenants - Housing Executive/Housing Associations
A range of minor adaptation works are available from your social landlord without the need for an occupational therapy assessment. Ask your social landlord for advice.
Major adaptation works will need the assessment of an occupational therapist. After identifying your needs the occupational therapist will send recommendations to your social landlord. They will make the necessary arrangements for the agreed works.