Staying at Home: making daily life easier
Independent Living Aids
The Disability Living Foundation (DLF) has an excellent website Living Made Easy
which offers impartial advice and information about daily living equipment,
disability living aids, disability products and equipment, and other aspects of
independent living. You can’t
buy from the site but you will get a list of
suppliers. Some products don’t cost much yet can significantly ease your day to
day living. They cover aids for every room in the home, personal care items,
clothing, day to day tasks, communication, mobility, safety and security and
leisure products. It is very important to seek advice and support before you
spend a lot of money on larger disability aids for two reasons: You may be
entitled to financial help (see below) and it is important to ensure that the
item specifically suits your medical condition.
The Living Aids and Making Later Life
Support with Personal Care and Everyday Tasks
Despite the availability of aids, some conditions make it increasingly
difficult for us to undertake everyday tasks such as getting up, showering and
dressing in the morning, doing our own shopping, cooking, cleaning and household
tasks, or even getting out and about. You may have a spouse or partner, or
family member who provides you with care. There is much more recognition of the
importance of the carer role now. Jeanne Davis describes the ups and downs and
her personal experience as a carer in Beyond the Headlines.
If you think you might need (more) help, there are private, voluntary and
charitable care agencies that will provide someone to come in for a specified
time either each day or to suit you. All care agencies are regulated by the Care
Quality Commission so you can check out the standards of the agency, but personal
recommendations can help. Some questions to think about are:
- Who will assess your needs?
- What experience and qualifications do the carers have?
- What will it cost, and does this include the carer’s transport costs and
- Will you have a regular carer or a number of different people?
- Can you specify who you have e.g. only a female carer?
- What standby/emergency arrangements are in place, e.g. if your carer is
ill, or you need to contact someone out of normal hours?
- Will the carer do only what is specified in their schedule or can they
do other things within the allotted time?
- How will they get access? (You can get a key safe installed outside and
give the code to those who need it).
- What do you do if you have a complaint?
Although you can do all this privately it is often useful to have a
local authority needs assessment done. They will
assess you for funding - see below and also Gov - Apply for a needs assessment.