Grants help with improving access for older people

PEOPLE who need to make changes to their homes to improve access and usability for old or disabled people can get vital advice and even financial aid from the Anah housing agency and the local authority.

Small jobs, like fitting automatic light switches in a bathroom or toilet, or raising the height of plugs, would not be covered. However larger jobs, especially if grouped on a theme, such as improving safety with handrails in bathrooms and a non-slip floor in the kitchen, easing access with new steps or a ramp, may attract grants or aid to cover from 35% to 50% of the cost, depending on age and household revenue.  
Anah publishes a guide on the most common work for a house that gives rough costings and advice on claiming aid.

Called Mon Chez Moi Avance Avec Moi, the guide is available as a download from tinyurl.com/h8zwf3e.

It has advice from ergonomic experts on how best to improve access, with room-by-room suggestions for work along with costings – which date from 2015 – and full information on the eligibility criteria.
As an example: for a dark house entrance it looks at work needed to improve access with extended steps, non-slip sections on the front edge of the steps, handrails for support, automatic light switches, an automatic gate opener and a video intercom for security.

This is priced from €4,800 to €8,000 for both products and fitting and Anah says aid of between 35% and 50% of the cost (before tax) may be available. Fitting an access ramp will also benefit from reduced VAT at 5.5%, but again with a condition of resources.

In the kitchen, the workspace can be made safer with several changes to get equipment to an easy-to-use height and with less possibility of spillage.
A non-slip floor would cost from €30/m2 to €100/m2 plus labour, a sink and swan-neck mixer tap (to improve ease of use) costs up to €2,500 fitted,
a new electric installation with four higher-level power points at €1,500 would give a total kitchen spend of €4,500.
This may again be eligible for 35% or 50% aid towards costs.

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