There is a wide range of equipment available that you can use in the home to make life easier and help you remain independent. This could be a stair rail, raised toilet seating, equipment to help in the bath or shower, items to help you with eating and drinking, loop systems to support hearing, or magnifiers to support reading.
Equipment can help you
- move around your home
- get in and out of a chair or bed
- get in and out of the bath or shower
- prepare food and drinks
- read bills and correspondence
- reach the front door
- carry out parenting tasks
There are many other products available to support people to live as independently as possible at home. These products are often known as ‘Telecare’.
Telecare can remind and inform people, and their carers, about things that need to be done, such as taking medicines on time. It can alert a family member or carer that a person has got out of bed at night and needs assistance. Or, it may alert a monitoring centre that something has happened and appropriate action should be taken.
Equipment for short-term loan is available through the British Red Cross, and is ideal if you need some equipment temporarily, for example, to try something out before you buy it. You can find out more by phoning 01823 273746, or visit their website.
Please see the 'Accessing the Somerset Wheelchair Service' information sheet.
AskSARA is a website that you can use to see what equipment is available. Visit the AskSARA website.
You can buy some equipment that might help you from local shops that specialise in disability equipment. There are also some local voluntary organisations and private providers that sell equipment. The Somerset Choices website gives lots of information about equipment available locally.
Independence and Advice Centres
Advice and guidance on equipment is available to support people with their daily living needs. There is an opportunity to try out equipment and buy items on the day, or have advice about other places that offer these products. If you are eligible to be provided with equipment from our community equipment service, an order is made so that you can collect it straight away, or it might be delivered if necessary. If it is agreed that you need a follow up Occupational Therapy home visit, this can be arranged.
We have two Independence and Advice Centres (IAC)
- Millbrook Equipment and Assessment Building, Chelston Business Estate, Wellington
- Aster Living, Meadow Rise, Shepton Mallet
To book an appointment for an IAC, please phone 0300 123 2224. We will give you full directions with your appointment confirmation.
An occupational therapist’s assessment can give advice and information to help you stay as independent as possible. This could include advice about equipment and alterations to your home to help you and your carer manage more easily.
We may be able to help you if you:
- normally live in Somerset
- have difficulty managing everyday tasks because of a physical disability or illness, or
- you are a carer.
We will talk with you to understand what could help you. We may be able to give you advice and information on the phone. Sometimes, someone from adult social care may need to come and see you to make sure we give you the best advice. This is called an assessment.
If your assessment shows that you need equipment, for example, a hoist and sling or minor works such as stair rails, we will provide them free of charge.
You may need major alterations to your home, such as putting in a stair-lift or wet-floor shower. If this is the case. we will ask the District Council to consider you for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). They will ask you for information about your finances and you may have to pay towards the cost of the work. Adaptations that can be considered for a Disabled Facilities Grant include
- Access - widening doorways for wheelchairs
- Bathroom adaptations
- Fixed overhead hoists
- Lifts - stairlifts or through-floor lifts
- General alterations, including permanent ramps
Please see our information sheet B5: Adapting your home
Repairs and returning equipment
If the equipment you have on loan needs to be repaired, please contact our equipment provider, Millbrook on 0333 003 2407. You should also contact them if you have equipment you no longer need, to arrange for it to be returned.
Community Alarm Service providers
If you would like to talk with someone, phone your local Community Alarm Service provider for more information about Telecare sensors and the relevant charges. Some of them may be free-of-charge.
Taunton Deane Borough Council
Phone 01823 257185
Magna West Somerset
St Peter's House
Phone 0800 138 6107
Aster Living 0333 4008299
Sedgemoor District Council
Phone 01278 435776
South Somerset Careline
Abbey Manor Park
Phone 01935 479815