Are there grants to help a person with dementia get equipment?
Grants and assistance are available for some of the equipment and home adaptations that make daily life easier for people affected by dementia.
- What equipment can improve the home of a person with dementia?
- Equipment to improve the home: where to buy it and when is it free?
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- Equipment to improve the home – Other resources
Using equipment and making adaptations at home
When equipment or adaptations are not provided by social services, the local authority and various organisations may be able to supply a grant or some other assistance. Some of the types of support available are outlined below.
Disabled facilities grants
Disabled facilities grants are designed to help meet the cost of adapting a home for the needs of a disabled person, including people with dementia.
What are disabled facilities grants awarded for?
They can be awarded for:
- improving a disabled person’s access to and from their home
- improving a disabled person’s access to:
- the main family room in their home
- their bedroom (or providing a new bedroom)
- the bathroom (or providing a new bathroom, and making it easier for the person to use the facilities)
- making the home safe for a disabled occupant and anyone else living with them
- making it easier for the disabled person to prepare and cook food
- improving the heating system or providing a suitable new heating system
- making it easier for the person to move around their home, especially if they are providing care for someone else who also lives there
- improving or moving controls for heating, lighting and plug sockets.
The changes must be:
- appropriate to meet the person’s needs
- reasonable depending on the age and condition of the property.
Who can apply for a disabled facilities grant?
Disabled facilities grants are mandatory, meaning that if a person meets the requirements for receiving one, the grant must be available to them.
Both homeowners and tenants can apply for disabled facilities grants. The person with the disability does not have to put in the application themselves – someone else can apply for them.
How much money can be awarded from a disabled facilities grant?
The grants are means-tested, which means that the amount of money given will depend on the person’s income and savings, as well as those of their partner, if they have one.
The amount of money given will also depend on the type of adaptation needed. The maximum amount available as a disabled facilities grant is:
- £30,000 in England
- £36,000 in Wales
- £25,000 in Northern Ireland.
How do you apply for the disabled facilities grant?
Disabled facilities grants are generally managed by the local housing authority rather than the social services department, although this may vary across different local authorities. An application form should be available from the grants department of your local authority offices.
Grants will not be considered if work on the home has already begun, so applications should be sent in before any work begins.
Local authority assistance with housing repairs
Local housing authorities are able to help people with repairs, adaptations and improvements to their home.
What type of assistance can the local authority give?
Assistance can be given in the form of:
- a grant
- a loan
- any combination of the above.
What are the conditions for receiving local authority assistance?
The local housing authority can set their own conditions for receiving assistance, such as deciding:
- if they should do a means test
- how financial assistance should be repaid.
If financial assistance is provided, they may ask for some sort of security for any help they provide, including taking a charge on a person’s home (securing a loan against the value of the house), if the person owns it.
Who can apply for assistance from the local authority?
The help available to owner-occupiers, tenants or landlords will depend on each local authority’s policy.
They must have a published policy that sets out:
- the type of assistance they are willing to provide
- the circumstances under which they are willing to provide it.
For more information, ask your local authority for a copy of this policy.
The Social fund is a scheme run by the government to help people with expenses that are difficult to meet on a low income.
Who qualifies for help from the Social fund?
Some people may qualify for a budgeting loan from the Social fund to help with the cost of minor repairs or improvements to their home. This may include people receiving benefits from the government such as:
- Income support
- income-based Jobseeker’s allowance
- Pension credit guarantee.
More information about the Social fund is available at local Jobcentre Plus offices.
Are Community care grants part of the Social fund?
Community care grants were previously offered by the Social fund. The local authority will have information about any local welfare schemes brought in to replace them.
Some charities may offer help towards the cost of minor adaptations or repairs.
What type of charity might help with getting equipment?
Various organisations may be able to help, including:
- grant-making trusts
- benevolent funds and trusts
- ex-service organisations
- organisations that support retired people in a particular type of work.
Where can I get more information on charities that help with equipment?
You can get more information and advice on this from local organisations such as:
- local Citizen’s Advice
- local libraries
- advice and community centres
- other local agencies such as a housing advice agency.
Home improvement agencies (HIAs)
Home improvement agencies, also known by names such as Care and Repair or Staying Put, are not-for-profit organisations run by local authorities, housing associations and charities.
They give information to older and disabled homeowners who may need specialist equipment or adaptations to stay in their homes.
Can HIAs help with getting equipment?
HIAs offer a number of different services, including:
- free advice
- small home improvement works
- minor repairs.
For more information on the organisations mentioned above, including contact details, see the section 'Other resources'.