Social services

How can Social Services help?

Social Services departments have Disability Teams with occupational therapists. They visit people at home to assess their needs and to provide advice on specialist equipment and adaptations and, where possible, arrange for their provision. The occupational therapist may advise on what grants are available. Eligibility for equipment and grants varies between areas and for different individuals depending on their means. You may be able to have some equipment on loan from your local Social Services department or hospital.

Social Services may also be able to arrange for you to have help with personal care and advise you on local schemes that offer help with housework and shopping.

Find out more about social care and how to access via your local authority.

How can voluntary organisations help?

The British Red Cross runs an equipment loan service for wheelchairs and other specialist equipment, and Age UK helps with shopping and housework in some areas. Age UK also offers handyman services for help with gardening and small household jobs such as changing the batteries on smoke alarms. You may also find others locally, ask your Social Services department or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Related organisations

The following organisations may be able to provide additional advice and information:

AskSARA (part of the Disabled Living Foundation)

Ask SARA gives helpful advice on gadgets and equipment to make everyday activities easier. The website will ask you to select the topic you’re interested in (for example cooking) and answer a few questions before giving a personalised report.

Living Made Easy (for information on Disabled Living Centres)

Phone: 0300 999 0004 Opening times: 10am - 4pm, Monday-Friday

Scope (formerly Disability Information and DIAL Network or Dial UK)

Phone: 0808 800 3333 Opening times: 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday

An independent network of local disability information and advice services run by and for disabled people.

Disability Rights UK (formerly Disability Alliance, RADAR and the National Centre for Independent Living)

Phone: 0207 250 8181 This is a general enquiry line.


Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) 

Phone: 0300 999 0004

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Helpline: 0800 298 7650

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Phone: 0303 123 9999 Opening Times:8am - 8pm weekdays and Saturday from 9am - 1pm.