Disability living equipment could support you to remain living at home safely and independently.
You may be able to have disability living equipment provided and installed free of charge by Social Services, the NHS, or your housing association if you have eligible social care or health needs. You can also buy or rent the equipment needed from independent stores.
Equipment to help
Some activities that equipment may be able to help with:
- getting up from a low toilet or chair
- getting in or out of the bath or shower
- getting in or up from the bed
- reaching down to put on socks, stockings, or shoes
- managing activities in the kitchen
- carrying items between rooms
Community equipment loans
Norfolk County Council have a statutory requirement to provide community equipment services to help people with social care needs to allow them to stay living at home as independently as possible. NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board has a statutory requirement to provide similar equipment to people with health care needs. These organisations work together to provide an Integrated Community Equipment Service for Norfolk and Waveney. This service is currently provided by Medequip.
To discuss your needs or the needs of a family member, North Norfolk residents can contact the relevant social care team at Norfolk County Council by calling 0344 800 8020.
- For Children's Services calls, select option one, then option two.
- For Adult Social Care calls, select option one, then option three.
Medequip will contact you to arrange delivery and installation of any equipment issued to you. If you need to check a delivery or arrange for the collection, repair or servicing of equipment already loaned to you, call Medequip on 01603 511124 or email email@example.com.
Housing association tenants
Housing associations may be able to arrange minor adaptions, such as the installation of grab rails or external galvanised rails, or provide free-standing equipment to their tenants free of charge through community budgets they are allocated to support disabled residents. You should contact your housing association directly to find out how they can help you.
Tenants of Victory Homes (part of the Flagship Group) can use their aids and adaptions form.
Other housing associations
Disability living equipment can be bought, and sometimes rented, directly from independent providers. Some have local showrooms that you can visit to trial equipment and where staff can offer advice to help you choose the most suitable equipment for your needs.
Local and online stores
- Holt Mobility
- Sheringham Mobility
- The Mobility Centre in Cromer
- n-able: Stairlift and Care Equipment Solutions in Norwich
- Ability Superstore: online store
- Complete Care Shop: online store
- Essential Aids: online store
- Manage at home: online store
- Enable Access: ramp and access specialists
- PARS: Preferred Access Ramp Systems
You can also contact The British Red Cross for short-term wheelchair hire.
Other helpful equipment
If you are at risk of falls due to a disability or health condition, a community alarm service could provide reassurance around the clock.
By the touch of a button, a call monitoring centre can contact family, friends, or emergency services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is usually a charge for the device and its installations and a weekly rental fee for the service itself. In North Norfolk, the two main providers of community alarms are:
If you are a North Norfolk resident and do not live in the area where Careline install services as shown on their map, you likely live in the area serviced by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
A key safe is a secure box with a combination code to keep spare keys in. It can allow multiple visitors, such as carers, to get in and out of your home when you have difficulty getting to and from the door to provide them access. The Supra C500 key safe is a police-approved model.
You can buy key safes from many local and online stores, including Careline, who can also install them. In case of a future emergency, you can register the key safe code with the East of England Ambulance Service.
Financial help for equipment
If you are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, you can use this money to pay for disability living equipment. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for these benefits or need practical support to make a claim, contact our Financial Inclusion Team for free and confidential advice.
If you, or someone you care for, need minor adaptions or equipment due to dementia or symptoms of dementia, we may be able to pay for these with a grant of up to £500. To find out more about this grant and how to apply for funding, visit our Forget Me Not Grant page.
The Council operates a Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant Policy that allows us to offer alternative grant funding in exceptional circumstances to help Disabled Facilities grant applicants proceed with essential adaptions. The Housing Adaptions Team Leader is responsible for considering all discretionary grant requests. Decisions are made in line with the policy on a case-by-case basis. Read our Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant Policy 2023 to 2025.
VAT on equipment
If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, you do not have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that are only for your own use and are designed to support you with daily living activities.
You can ask the store to advise if zero-rating for VAT can be applied to purchases. They may ask you to complete a declaration for VAT relief eligibility. Find out more on the gov.uk website.
Self-help guide to buying equipment
Most stores offer in-person or telephone customer services that provide expert advice and guidance to help you make the right decisions about the equipment you may need. Some organisations have also developed online tools that allow you to complete a self-assessment of your needs. Find illustrated examples and advice on our self-funding advice page.
AdaptMyHome allows you to check how well your home supports your needs and whether you could benefit from adaptions or equipment to help you stay safe and independent. You will be asked questions about how you manage at home. The assessment tool will tell you how suitable the home is and the possible next steps to help improve it. This may include completing an eligibility check for a Disabled Facilities Grant, or visiting AskSARA to see what changes you could make yourself.
AskSARA is an online self-assessment tool provided by Medequip. It gives information written by occupational therapists about equipment that can aid independent living. You will be asked what activity you need help with, questions about your home environment and how you are managing the activity now. The assessment tool will then produce a tailored report on ways to make the activity safer or less difficult, including an impartial list of equipment specific to your needs and suggestions for where you can buy them, including from their own store.
Find a Trusted Trader
If you want to find a tradesperson to install equipment or want to check how trustworthy a company is before using their services, it is always a good idea to use a company that you have used before or find recommendations from someone you trust. The following websites provide trading standards endorsements or customer-related reviews to help you make informed choices.
- Norfolk County Council: Trusted Traders
- Check a Trade
- Reference Line
- Trust a Trader
- Which? Trusted Traders
Find further information to help you stay safe online and know how to report scams.