Making an accessible home
If you’re the primary carer of a disabled person and you need to modify your home so it is easier for them to get around, here are some places you can get help.
Housing modifications for disabled people
The Ministry of Health may be able to provide funding for things around your house like handrails, ramps or lifts, as well as alterations to doorways and bathroom modifications. Funding is limited, so applications are prioritised according to need.
You will need to contact an Equipment and Modification Service (EMS) assessor. They will assess funding eligibility and the needs of the person you care for, and help you through the process – from making an application until the completion of your home modifications. Find out more about housing modifications for disabled people at the Ministry of Health website, or contact accessable if you live in Auckland and Northland, or Enable New Zealand in the rest of the country.
For specific advice on making buildings and public places accessible for disabled people, take a look at the New Zealand Standard: Design for Access and Mobility.
For information and ideas about designing an accessible home to meet your family’s needs, visit the Easie Living & Demonstration Centre website.
You may also be interested in the Marae Accessibility Toolkit: Te Whakaaheitanga Marae – a guide to making marae accessible for kaumātua and people with disability.
Accessible Properties specialise in placing tenants with disabilities in accessible homes.
Equipment for disabled people
The Ministry of Health may be able to loan items like wheelchairs and walkers, hoists, bathroom equipment or communication devices for as long as it is needed at no cost.
An Equipment and Modification Service (EMS) assessor can give advice about what equipment will be best. Find out more about equipment for disabled people from the Ministry of Health.
EMS assessors can also provide information about where equipment can be purchased or hired if the person you care for is not eligible for support from the Ministry of Health.
Take a look at mobility equipment and daily living aids available for purchase or hire at Life Unlimited Store.
Life Unlimited Hearing Therapy is an EMS assessor for adults living with permanent hearing loss. They can assess your needs for assistive hearing and alerting equipment to enable you to work or study, or help you live safely in your home. Read our story about how a smoke alarm system that is specially designed for people who are hearing impaired works.
You may also want to take a look at our funding options page if the person you care for does not meet the criteria for government funding.