Adapting your home
To enable you to remain in your own home for as long as you would like, ensuring that your home is safe, secure and warm is the starting point. Some forward planning to ensure that the garden doesn’t become a burden is sensible. If you are not planning to move, think about adaptations that would make life easier now and later on.
Of course, these things can be daunting, especially if it’s a case of having to bring in someone to do jobs you used to happily take on yourself. But there are reliable tradespeople to be found – ask around. And there are also non-profit organisations known as Home Improvement Agencies that work specifically for older people and can tackle, or help you tackle, most kinds of home maintenance, repairs and adaptations.
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs)
HIAs are local not-for-profit organisations funded and supported by local and central government. They pride themselves on working professionally and sensitively with older and disabled homeowners, providing advice, support and assistance to help them repair, improve, maintain or adapt their home to meet their changing needs.
Most HIAs provide three main services:
• Information and advice on repairs or adaptations you may be considering. This usually entails a visit to your home, and is often free.
• A ‘handyperson service’ for small jobs and repairs. Typically the HIA will employ its own
handyperson, and charge you an hourly rate for their services.
• A‘home adaptations service’ for more major works. The HIA will work with you to specify
the adaptations needed, and they will normally offer to get estimates from one or more of their
regular contractors. Subject to your acceptance, the HIA will then offer to manage the works
contract for you for an agreed fee.
HIAs may also be helpful if you are not sure you can afford the home repairs or adaptations you need. They can advise on your eligibility for any grants and, if necessary, put you in touch with an independent financial adviser.
For more information on Home Improvement Services operating in Essex and Southend-on-Sea, contact one of the following organisations:
Caring and Repairing in Epping Forest (CARE)
Private Sector Housing
Civic Offices, High Street, Epping CM16 4BZ
Tel: 01992 564086
Braintree Council Environmental Services
Causeway House, Braintree, Essex
Tel: 01376 557761 • Web: www.hanover.org.uk
Papworth Trust Home Solutions
Papworth Trust Home Solutions, Lancaster House,
Aviation Way, Southend-on-Sea SS2 6UN
Tel: 01702 530300
Papworth Trust Home Solutions, Brentwood
Office, 3rd Floor, Town Hall, Ingrave Road,
Brentwood Essex CM15 8AY
Tel: 01277 225352
Papworth Trust Home Solutions, Bishops
Stortford Office, Office Number One, Unit 2,
Woodside, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM23 5RG
Tel: 01279 710710
Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow Essex
Tel: 01279 454328
Swan Care and Repair
C/O Wellington House
Room 304, 90-91 Butt Road, Colchester CCO3 3DA
Tel: 01277 844235
Suite 304, Wellington House, 90-92 Butt Road,
Colchester, Essex CO3 3DA
Tel: 01277 844235
61 Frinton Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 5UH
Tel: 01255 814410