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Living safely at home

The following information could apply to you or your cared for

Living safely at home

Is moving safely around your home getting difficult? Accidents like falls can have serious consequences. Difficulties can be due to illness, sight or hearing loss, a physical or learning disability or just growing older and finding it harder to move around.

Major equipment and adaptations

Who can get help?

If you have a disability or a long term medical condition, or are getting older, you may find it difficult to use your kitchen, bathroom or stairs, or to get in or out of your home.  We may be able to help to adapt your home so that you can be more independent and feel safer. You can ask the Council for an assessment to see what help might be available to you.

What is an assessment?

What is available?

Occupational Therapy Service can offer you a range of services.

Advice and information.

They can give you advice on ways to adapt your home, such as installing a wheelchair ramp, extra hand rails or a stair lift. They can also tell you about local suppliers.

Adaptations Grant Scheme

The Council may be able to help you to pay for some alterations. You will need to have an assessment first so they know which adaptations would help you.

Apply for the Adaptations Grant Scheme

How much does it cost?

  • If you are a council tenant, any adaptations that are agree for you will be carried out for free.
  • If you are a Housing Association tenant, the Housing Association will make their own funding arrangements.
  • If you own or rent privately and need major adaptations to your property, the Council can advise you on how to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, which may help.

How to get in touch

The first point of contact for information about assessments and equipment should be the Adult Intake and Access Team. You can telephone them on 020 8227 2915.

Please contact me about this service

Help with walking

If you are finding it difficult to walk around, you might need to think about using a walking stick or frame, or perhaps a wheelchair. There are a number of services available that might help, but it is a good idea to visit your doctor first as they will be able to advise you.

The Community Rehabilitation Team

Your doctor might refer you to the Community Rehabilitation Team. They would carry out a walking assessment and might provide you with a walking aid if you need one.

The Wheelchair Service

This service provides an assessment of wheelchair needs. If they decide you need to use a wheelchair, they will also supply equipment and a repair service. You need a referral to use this service. It can be from your doctor, consultant, occupational therapist, or other health professional.


The Dial-a-Wheelchair service is for residents of Barking, Dagenham and Havering. It provides two main services.

  • Short Term Loan. You will need a referral from a health professional such as a doctor or an occupational therapist. Wheelchairs are available for up to three months. This service is often used by people who have broken a limb, or have had an operation which affects their ability to walk.
  • Occasional Loan. You can refer yourself for this service. A wheelchair can be delivered free to your door, and you can use it for up to three consecutive days a week. You need to give at least 24 hours notice if you want the wheelchair delivered to, or collected from, your home. You can also choose to collect the wheelchair yourself. If you take this option, you only need to give half an hour's notice.

It may be possible for you to take out a wheelchair on an occasional loan that lasts up to two weeks. This could be to go on holiday, or perhaps if you have family coming to visit and want to get out and about with them. If you wish to take the wheelchair you have borrowed abroad, you will need to pay a £250 deposit which will be given back to you when you return the wheelchair. It is important to make sure that your travel insurance covers the wheelchair in case anything happens to it.

Address: DABD UK, 177 Valence Wood Road, Dagenham, RM8 3AJ
Phone: 020 8517 7682
Fax: 020 8517 7682
Web: www.dabd.org.uk
Email: dialawheelchair@dabd.org.uk

Please note that the Dial-a-Wheelchair service is not available to people who live in a nursing, residential or private care home.

Your doctor should be able to advise you if you are worried about walking, but you can call the Adult Intake and Access Team for advice on 020 8227 2915.


Older and vulnerable people, particularly those living on their own, need to be able to call for help in an emergency. Telecare equipment can help. You could have a range of automatic sensors placed around your home, or just wear a simple alarm button around your neck or wrist.

Telecare equipment

Telecare is monitoring equipment that can be installed in your home if you have a disability or are an older person. It covers a range of items from simple pendant alarms that alert a call centre when pressed to more complicated systems that monitor health conditions. The call centre will alert a named contact, often a relative, or get emergency help if required. Telecare can provide peace of mind and enable you to feel more independent at home.

Click here for more information on Telecare/Careline

Careline emergency alarms

Careline is a 24 hour emergency call system. If you are an older person or have a disability, Careline alarms can help you to live independently and safely in your own home.

Click here for more information on Careline emergency alarms

Personal care in your home

What is available?

Home care can help people of all ages with living at home, in many different situations. They can:

  • Provide short term support to help you get back on your feet at home after an illness or time in hospital (we call this "reablement");
  • Help you use your Personal Budget to arrange long term support if you need it from an independent registered home care agency; or
  • Provide help for carers at home.

Who can get help?

The Council try to make sure they provide services to people in Barking and Dagenham who need them most, for example people who can no longer care for themselves. teh Council will carry out an assessment to see whether they can help pay for a home care service.

What is an assessment?

If the Council cannot provide help, they will still give you advice about where you can get help and the kind of equipment that might make living at home easier for you.

Is it safe to let people into my home?

All home care agencies, including home care provided by the Council, are registered by an independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC make sure the service reaches minimum standards and inspects services regularly. They publish their reports.

Visit the CQC's website for more information

Visit the LBBD website to find out more

Paying for home care services

How much does Home Care cost?

The charging system for home care services may seem complicated, but it has been designed to try and make sure everybody's needs are met fairly.

Home carers can help you with using the toilet, dressing, washing, getting in and out of bed, preparing meals, and doing your laundry. They can also help you recover from an illness by encouraging you to follow the recovery programme provided by your doctor.

Getting in touch

The first point of contact for information about home care services should be the Adult Intake and Access Team. You can telephone them on 020 8227 2915.

Please contact me about this service

Equipment to help you

What is available?

Advice and information

The Council can give you advice on different ways to carry out everyday tasks to reduce your difficulties and help you feel more independent. They can also tell you about the equipment you can buy and where to find your local suppliers.  These could be local chemists, mainstream shops, or shops that specialise in certain types of equipment.

Click here to see a list of accredited retailers

How much does it cost?

  • Some larger pieces of equipment may be loaned to you by the Council. This means the equipment is free for you to use for the period of the loan but should be returned if you no longer need it.
  • If you are offered a prescription to get your equipment, this will also be free and the equipment will belong to you.
  • You may have to pay for other items, but you can always ask us for advice on what you should get and how much you should expect to pay.


You can purchase a wide range of equipment  yourself to help you with difficulties you may have in the kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom. 

  • You will be assessed and may be offered a prescription for the equipment you need.
  • You can take the prescription to any accredited shop to pick up your free equipment. If your equipment isn't in stock, it should be ordered to arrive within seven days. You can phone up the shop to check that everything you want is in stock before you go.
  • When you visit the shop with your prescription, it will often be possible for you to "top-up". This means you can choose to buy a more expensive item by paying the difference. This could be an item with extra features, or perhaps in a different colour.
  • The shop assistant will show you how the equipment works and tell you how to use it.

Mindful Eye

Mindful Eye are a local company and can provide and install a range of equipment to support adults with a physical or sensory impairment, or older frail adults, to remain in their own homes. The types of equipment they install are varied but can be purchased or rented so are ideal for Individual Budgets.

Equipment can be viewed on our website www.mindful-eye.co.uk 

I want to know more about different types of equipment

If you would like to know more about how different types of equipment might help you, click the button below to visit the AskSARA website. You can complete a short survey about the things you are finding difficult, and the website will tell you more about what equipment is available and how it can help.

Visit the AskSARA Website 

How to get in touch

The first point of contact for information about assessments and equipment should be the Adult Intake and Access Team. You can telephone them on 020 8227 2915.

Please contact me about this service

Get up and go - a guide to staying steady

Published as part of Older People’s Day, the guide tackles common myths about falling.

A checklist helps you to decide whether you're at risk and there's plenty of advice how how you can reduce your chances of having a fall by improving your balance, muscle strength and more.

The booklet has been produced by CSP with Saga and Public Health England. 

Take a look at the Chartered society of physiotheraphy and download Up and Go  - A guide to staying steady.

Handyperson Scheme

Barking and Dagenham Handyperson Scheme

This new service, starting in January 2016, can arrange for a visit to your home to carry out small jobs you find difficult to do, that will reduce hazards and so prevent falls. Jobs that are not the responsibility of someone else to get done and that you cannot get anyone else to help you with.

Anyone* who lives in their own home or rented property can access the scheme if he/she:

  • Is 65 and over OR;
  • Has a disability or is vulnerable OR;
  • Is being or has recently been discharged from hospital or;
  • Is at high risk of falling due to a medical condition

*Proof of eligibility may be needed and priority will be given to clients who live on their own, or where all household members meet the criteria.

What work can the Handyperson do?

The handyperson can do lots of small jobs. Examples include:

  • Fitting grab rails 
  • Making loose carpets and trailing wires safe 
  • Moving small items of furniture around
  • One-off gardening work to make your garden safer
  • Any other small jobs to make your home safer and free from trip hazards

If you have any queries about any jobs you need doing please do not hesitate to contact us and we will advise if we can do it. The type of work is limited to small DIY type jobs taking no more than half a day to carry out.

What will it cost?

This is a FREE service to all who meet the eligibility criteria so you will not have to pay the cost of any materials nor is there a labour charge.

Case study from a similar existing scheme

Mrs C contacted the handyperson service as she was worried about the handrails which had become loose and unstable.

The handyperson visited and talked to Mrs C, and then new handrails were fitted which meant that Mrs C could use the staircase without fear of falling down the stairs.

Mrs C said she felt much happier and that a weight had been lifted off her mind. She said that she now enjoys living in the property and feels much more optimistic about the future.

It goes to show that even the smallest jobs can have a significant impact on people's lives.


  • Email: enquiries@harmonyhousedagenham.org.uk (Sub: Handyperson Scheme)
  • Telephone: 0208 526 8200
  • Fax: 02085268210
  • Address: Harmony House Dagenham CIC, Baden Powell Close, RM96XN

For more information, or to request a leaflet or an emailed or faxed application form:

You can also fill in the online application form on the Barking & agenham Handyperson Scheme tab here or download the form in PDF format here.