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Independent living

Adapting your home


It’s easy to make small adaptations to your home, like adding handrails, which can make it easier for you to move around.

Equipment such as bath seats, commodes and bedrails are easy to borrow, hire or buy and your doctor may be able to provide some items for free.

Our equipment advice website contains information and advice about a whole range of equipment available to help you manage at home.

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:

  • assess your needs
  • help you find the best equipment
  • show you how the equipment works and help you to try it out
  • explain how you can get equipment to keep you independent
  • direct you to other services that might help you
  • Try “Our Before you Buy” guides which have been written to help you find the right piece of equipment to meet your needs.
    If you want to buy equipment online there are several websites you can visit:

Eligible social care needs

If you have eligible social care needs, the equipment may be funded for you, however, a list of suppliers is provided should you need to independently purchase the equipment yourself. To arrange an assessment of your eligible needs, please contact Adult Social Care on 0345 155 1007

Following an assessment of your needs, you will either be provided with information and advice to source and purchase equipment that might assist you or, if eligible, you might be given a prescription to exchange for a piece or pieces of equipment. You can exchange your prescription at any accredited shop in Devon. You’ll receive a list of these shops when you get a prescription, or you can use Pinpoint Devon to search for shops in your area. You can also ask for paper copies by calling Adult social Care.

Should your assessed needs indicate that more complex equipment will be required, this can be arranged and delivered for you. Equipment must be returned when no longer needed.

Any faulty equipment less than a year old should be returned to the retailer under warranty. If the item is out of warranty phone Adult Social Care on 0345 155 1007 and ask for a replacement item. In most cases, you will be sent a new equipment prescription.

If the equipment does not meet your needs, or if your needs change, contact Adult Social Care on 0345 155 1007


Pharmacies like Lloyds and Boots have an extensive range of equipment and solutions to make life easier in the home. You can also buy from these online from their websites.

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, walking frames, trolleys and raised toilet seats. The Millbrook Healthcare website offers an online self-assessment, the outcome of which may suggest 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

Major adaptations

These could include a stair lift, wide doorway, adapting bathrooms or kitchens. The work may be funded through a Disabled Facilities Grant administered through your local district council, or provided on the recommendation of an occupational therapist (OT).

The Adapt My Home website allows you to check how well your home supports your needs, and whether you could benefit from some adaptations to help you stay safe and independent.

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.

Find services, groups and clubs in Devon on the Pinpoint website

Go to Pinpoint

Find equipment solutions to stay active, safe and independent.

Independent Living Centre