Southend's Adults Information PointSHIP Families

Home adaptations and equipment

There is a huge amount of equipment available to help in a wide range of situations. 


Anyone who leaves hospital should be offered, where appropriate, an Occupational therapy (OT) assessment.  You can also be referred for an Occupational Therapy assessment by your GP, or by contacting Southend Council's Care and Support service via the Access Team on 01702 215008.  Occupational Therapists will talk to you about what you find difficult, look at your home situation and recommend pieces of equipment that will enable you to undertake everyday tasks.  

Many pieces of equipment are comparatively simple, yet can make a huge difference to people's quality of life. There is specialist equipment to help people with a range of disabilities and medical conditions to care for themselves independently, get out and about, use computers and generally to remain part of their community.


The price of some equipment can appear to make it prohibitive, however there are a number of ways of paying for equipment, including welfare benefits, grants from charitable organisations and Southend Council's Care and Support service.    Following an assessment, Southend Council's Care and Support service may be able to fund the costs of some equipment. For more information, please phone the Access team on 01702 215008.  Ask Sara has an assessment procedure, and can advise on the most appropriate equipment to meet your needs. It may be possible to get certain equipment through your GP, and you can contact the local wheelchair service for more information, though to use the service you have first to be referred by a GP. 

No matter how much or how little you are spending on a piece of equipment, it's not fulfilling its purpose stuck in a cupboard.  Therefore there are some do's and don't's before purchasing anything.


  • Always make sure the equipment will do what you think it will.  Make a list of the things that you want the equipment to do, then check them off against the specifications of the equipment. 


  • Ideally don't buy the equipment without having it demonstrated first.  For more expensive pieces of equipment, the supplier should come to you, in other cases, try to visit the shop where the equipment is being sold.


  • Remember your rights, you can normally expect to have at least 14 days to change your mind, and secure a full refund.  Check whether the piece of equipment you're buying is covered under this legislation.


  • If you can, take a professional's advice.  If available, talk to an OT or a well-qualified professional.  Talk to other users of the piece of equipment you're thinking of buying. 


There are many adaptations that can be made to your home to increase independence, and often make the difference to enable you to stay in your own home. These include removing steps into or within your property, converting your bathroom to a wet room, or widening doors/installing a stair lift.  Whether you have to pay for these adaptations will depend on your level of income and savings.