Staying at home

Equipment advice from Hampshire's OT Direct

To make your life at home easier and safer, Hampshire County Council's Occupational Therapists can carry out an assessment of what you can and can't do in your everyday activities.

  • they can give you advice and information about equipment that may be useful
  • or they may suggest alternative practical ways of doing things

To arrange to see an Occupational Therapist contact Adult Services

If you do not own the property you live in you would need a written letter of agreement from your landlord to make any changes to your home.

Equipment advice

Getting in and out of the house

  • Rails, half steps or ramps can be provided, normally for either front or back door
  • You will need to tell us about the condition of your walls and if your doorframe is wooden, UPVC or metal

Answering the door

This depends on who you want to answer the door to
  • Relatives - it might be safest to give them a key, this will also help in an emergency situation
  • Regular visitors - a key safe may be a solution. Please note that there are security risks in fitting key safes and you will need to notify your home insurer. They are available from DIY shops, or your local Home Improvement Agency may operate a Handyman scheme and they will fit one for you for a reasonable amount
  • Door entry/intercom mechanisms can also be fitted in some situations

Getting up and down stairs

  • A banister rail could be fitted for you - if you have one already, a second rail can also be provided
  • Stair lifts - the addition of one or more banister rails will be considered first, as well as details of your disabilities, and your home
  • People living in privately owned or rented and Housing Association accommodation may be eligible to apply to their District Council for a Disabled Facilities Grant

Getting out of a chair

  • The type of chair that you use is important. It should be supportive, and with arms to assist in getting up. Putting additional cushions on the seat to raise it will not help.
  • If you have a chair that is comfortable it may be possible to increase the height of the chair by using leg raisers or extended castors

Getting in and out of bed

  • Difficulties getting in and out - raising the height of the bed or using a bed lever can help
  • Difficulties turning over or sitting up - help in this instance will depend on the disabilities that you have and will probably require a home assessment

Help moving others around the house

A mobility assessment and if appropriate, mobility aid should be provided via your G.P. referring for physiotherapy assessment.

If this does not resolve the difficulties a moving and handling assessment, at your home will be provided.

If the situation is urgent and you or relative is in immediate need, or at risk of injury please contact Adult Services to make a referral.


Washing, bathing or showering

If you are having problems using the bath or shower the following equipment might be helpful
  • For standing at the basin - a perching stool
  • Help getting in and out of the bath
    • a bathboard and bathseat is usually considered first
    • or if you have an overbath shower, then a showerboard is another option
    • if the walls are suitable, a rail may be fitted
  • Managing the taps
    • ensure taps and washers are in good condition or arrange for them to be looked at and/or repaired
    • if you still have difficulties alternative taps may be helpful, such as lever taps

Dressing and undressing

Using different type of clothes can help, looser fitting and elasticated rather than with zips and buttons. There is also equipment available that can be purchased through mail order, or from disability equipment shops.

Using the toilet

There are several options available that might help you get on and off safely

  • Raised toilet seats, rails and frames might help you
  • Assistance with mobility issues, should be considered first
    • if this does not resolve the difficulties a commode may be required
    • commodes are provided by the Red Cross or from your District Nurse.
  • Difficulty using the toilet flush
    • there may be alternatives depending on the type of flushing mechanism you have

Food preparation

Some possibilities to make the preparation of food and eating and drinking easier include

  • Standing at the sink to prepare food, or to wash up can be very tiring
    a perching stool is often a solution to this issue.
  • Difficulty getting food to the table
    if you are able to walk unaided, or with only minimal need for walking aids, a special trolley designed for this purpose can be used
  • Difficulty using a knife and fork
    utensils can be purchased through mail order or from disability equipment shop
  • Worry about spilling hot drinks
    utensils can be purchased through mail order or from disability equipment shops


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What am I entitled to?

The local authority is here to help everyone understand their needs and, if required, provide an assessment.

For more information about what help you are entitled to, please see the Who can get help from Adult Services web pages.

Try our online self assessment