Staying independent at home – how home adaptations can help

Home is a central feature of our life…

Home is our sanctuary. A safe place to weather the storms of life. If you have lived there a long time, it’s a place filled with memories. That is why we feel so strongly about helping people to stay in the comfort of their own homes and live independently for longer. This is where home adaptations come in.

In later life, most of us will be affected by health and mobility issues that limit our ability to look after ourselves as we once did. But there are many modifications that can be done around the house to make it more accessible. We want to enable you to carry on living in the place you love. In the last 30 years, we have helped thousands of people to make changes. Things like garage conversions, home extensions, widening doorways, bathroom adaptations, downstairs toilets, hand rails, and anything else you may need.

‘Thinking about the future’

By working with We Care Home Improvements, not only will the end result be life-changing, but we also take care of the whole process from start to finish. It’s our aim to provide you with complete peace of mind. We can provide minor adaptations, like grab rails and ramps or manage larger projects.

Your personal project manager will work with you to assess your needs and create a completely bespoke home improvement plan for you. They will also manage all the tradespeople and ensure that they get a fair price and the work is done to an excellent standard. We always work with people we trust who will respect your home. So you can rest assured that everyone we work with has been vetted through a rigorous process by our team.

Next steps

Let us help you to stay living independently at home – for longer…

  • Simply call us on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team to find out how we can help you. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • Alternatively, you can visit our Bristol showroom to see some examples of our beautiful bathrooms and talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team. Contact the team to arrange an appointment.

Lois and David’s story: Why moving house can sometimes be the best option

In order to stay independent at home, it’s sometimes worth thinking about moving house to meet your changing needs.

lois david moving house housing options wheelchair disabled we care

Lois and David’s story

Lois contacted We Care for advice after her husband David had some falls at home.  David had been advised that he was no longer safe using the stairs at home by a healthcare professional. Lois was in the process of arranging for him to live downstairs in the dining room, which she knew would be very disruptive and impractical for them.


David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia in 2011 and his walking ability has gradually declined over the years.  Lois was aware that David might need to use a wheelchair in the future. Because of this, she wanted to explore the possibility of extending the back of the house to create a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.


How We Care was able to help

After an initial phone call the couple agreed to a home visit from Maria, our  in-house occupational therapist (OT).  Maria visited Lois and David to gain a full understanding of the couple’s needs.  The attachment to their home and their desire to continue living there was clear.


“It was a relief to get professional advice from Maria and Fatima as I had no idea what to expect or what was needed”



Maria returned at a later date with our technical lead, Fatima. Fatima was able to survey the property to establish what was structurally possible.  Lois said ‘It was a relief to get professional advice from Maria and Fatima. I had no idea what to expect, or what was needed”.

Given that Lois and David live on a very steep hill, Fatima explained that it would be very difficult to extend the property. It would be a timely, disruptive and expensive undertaking if they did decide to adapt their home.


Moving house is an option they had not considered

The team recommended Lois and David explore all of their options before making such a big decision.  Lois remembers when the team first asked if they had ever thought about moving, her reaction was very strong. ‘Definitely not!’.  Having spent 18 years making a house into a home, they felt they had too much to lose.  Lois was also concerned about how David might manage in a different environment due to his dementia.

The couple agreed to be referred to our Housing Options service (funded by Bristol Ageing Better) for support with this.  Our case worker, Michael, visited the couple to discuss all of their options and help them make an informed decision.


“People are often overwhelmed at the thought of moving home, but it can be the right decision for some, especially when the home environment works against them and their personal needs”



Michael says “People are often overwhelmed at the thought of moving home, but it can be the right decision for some, especially when the home environment works against them and their personal needs”.

For Lois and David, the location of their home on a steep hill was their biggest hurdle.  Even if the home was extended to include a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, David would still face significant difficulties getting up and down the steep driveway. Eventually, this could lead him to become housebound and lessen his quality of life a great deal.

A holiday at Our Bench changed their minds about moving house

Luckily, during these discussions Lois and David had a well-timed holiday planned to an Our Bench Accessible cottage. This gave them the opportunity to experience staying in a wheelchair accessible bungalow first hand.

lois david moving house housing options disabled we care


“The holiday made me realise there is a different way of living.”





Lois said “The holiday made me recognise there is a different way of living.  Everything had become difficult at home and we just got on with it.  In the bungalow, it was all so much easier than going out at our house.  David was able to enjoy going out because he didn’t need to waste energy getting out of the house and up the driveway.  He was able to shower every day and it was so much easier for me to care for him”.

On return from their holiday, Lois realised that although she found the prospect of moving daunting, it would be worth it in the end.  The couple began viewing local bungalows for sale. They got back in touch with We Care for advice on making the entrance wheelchair friendly and installing an accessible bathroom.

Lois said “It was very reassuring to us to know that once we had found our dream bungalow we would have help, support and expertise of the team at We Care to enable us to adapt the bungalow to meet our needs. It was one less thing to worry about”.

They have now had an offer accepted on the bungalow and are looking forward to a new way of living.


How we can help you

  • Call us on 0300 323 0700 for a chat with our technical team to find out how we can help you adapt your property. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • If you are considering a bathroom adaptation, you can pop into our Bristol showroom to see some examples of our stylish yet accessible bathrooms


Could a holiday in an accessible home help you make your mind up about adapting your home?


Lois and David’s stay at an Our Bench accessible cottage was crucial in helping them decide to move to a more accessible home.  Helen’s runs Our Bench with her family.  She says it is not uncommon for those that stay in the accessible cottages to go on to decide to make changes to their homes based on their positive experience.

If you’d like to know more, give Our Bench a call on 07751 064167.

We can help you with your Housing Options. Contact us if you are thinking of moving house to meet your changing health needs.