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Independent living

Adapting your home


Equipment Advice Devon is an advice and information website about daily living equipment and other aspects of independent living. This is a self-assessment that will ask a series of questions about how you are managing with daily living tasks. It will suggest some items of equipment that you can buy to meet your needs based on your answers.

If you are feeling unsteady on your feet and would like information, tips and advice around how to prevent falls please visit the Steady on Your Feet Devon website.

The Independent Living Centre

You can also contact The Independent Living Centre which offers a free and impartial assessment and information service to anyone looking for equipment to help them to live independently. Qualified NHS occupational therapists can offer:

  • advice on daily living equipment and technology that can help you in your everyday life and keep you safe
  • ‘before you buy’ guides giving points to consider and price guides for many pieces of equipment
  • the opportunity to visit the centre for a 1:1 assessment with an occupational therapist to try out items of equipment

If you want to buy equipment locally please check the supplier list here.

Minor adaptations

Minor adaptations and equipment refer to small works or pieces of equipment which can help you to remain independent. This could include equipment such as grab rails, external rails and ramps. The equipment advice website offers an online self-assessment, the outcome of which may suggest minor adaptation, equipment and technology options to help you to remain independent.

Before you arrange for somebody to come into your home to do some work you can:

  • search for them on the Buy with Confidence scheme. This shows traders who have been vetted by Trading Standards. We recommend only using traders on this scheme.
  • read the information from Age UK about protecting yourself and keeping safe at home at

You may be eligible for support to make minor adaptations, please contact us for an assessment, you can find out more on our occupational therapy page.

Major adaptations

If you are considering whether your home needs adapting to meet your needs, here is a list of Devon suppliers if you would like to arrange this yourself.

If you are not sure what adaptations might help meet your needs, an occupational therapist can assess your needs and provide recommendations. Recommendations may in include equipment or adaptations. The government guidance gives further details on how an occupational therapist can help.

If you are unable to afford an adaptation, please contact us for an occupational therapy assessment. An occupational therapist may refer you to your district council for a grant if you are eligible. If you are a housing association or district council tenant please speak to your landlord in the first instance. Grants need to be applied for before any work starts.

VAT exemption

If you are registered as disabled, you will be exempt from paying VAT on works done to adapt your home or equipment purchased specifically to meet your disability needs. More information about VAT relief.