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Occupational Therapy (OT) - including equipment and adaptations

Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home. It's about being able to do the things you want and must do. Everything is focused on your wellbeing and your ability to take part in activities of daily living.

What an Occupational Therapist does

An occupational therapist helps people of all ages overcome challenges completing everyday tasks or activities - referred to as 'occupations'.

Occupational therapists look at relationships between the activities you do every day - your occupations - alongside the challenges you face and your environment.

They then create a plan of goals and adjustments targeted at achieving a specific set of activities. The plan is practical, realistic, and personal to you as an individual.

We appreciate that not everyone wants to be assessed and may simply be looking for somewhere to find equipment. Living Made Easy offers impartial advice and information about daily living equipment and other aspects of independent living.

Adaptations to make your home more suitable

Adaptations are changes made to your home to make it easier to live independently in your own home if you are disabled or an older person. There are two types of adaptations: minor and major.

Minor adaptations are fixed alterations that cost less than £1,000 and may include:

  • grab rails
  • handrails
  • banister rails
  • door entry systems
  • alterations to steps
  • widening of a door or path

Some minor adaptations equipment can be purchased from online and retail stores.

Major adaptations are alterations that normally cost more than £1,000, and include:

  • ramps
  • stairlifts
  • vertical lift
  • shower over a bath
  • level access showers
  • ceiling track hoists

Major adaptations can include internal and external changes to the layout of a property.

It is only in very exceptional circumstances that a property will be extended to provide additional living space.

If you live in a private property, a private rented property, or a housing association property, please consider using the Adapt My Home self-assessment tool (opens new window) to help you decide if this is the correct option for you, or if moving to a more suitable property would be the better long term option.

If you are considering moving to a more suitable property, re-housing through Gateshead Home Choice may be an option. Visit our housing webpages for more information.

Adaptations are funded via a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) for eligible people with disabilities living in a private property, a private rented property, or a housing association property. The DFG is means tested, which means that you might have to pay some or all of the costs of adapting your home. The means test is quite complicated, but the Adapt My Home self-assessment tool (opens new window) may simplify it for you and show you how much you may need to pay.

Contact Adult Social Care

There are many ways to contact the adult social care team, both online and over the phone.

We encourage people who can contact us online to do so, as it helps to free up phone lines for emergencies or for those who don't have access to or the skills to use computers.

Contact Adult Social Care