Adapt your home to your needs

Becoming older can mean that you need to make changes to your home so it is better adapted to your needs.

7 March 2014

BECOMING older can mean that you need to make changes to your home so it is better adapted to your needs.

This may include the installation of access ramps rather than steps at the front and rear of the house; changing the height of wall sockets and switches; redoing the bathroom to avoid slipping while getting in or out of the bath, or even installing a stairlift.

The best advice on such changes will come from calling in an occupational therapist
(ergothérapeute). There are about 300 such non-hospital therapists in France and a visit will cost around €50.

They are likely to advise you to install a front-door ramp, install better lights and, if hearing is poor, to fit a flashing light to complement the bell; get rid of loose rugs to avoid tripping; switch from a gas cooker to electric or induction hob; raise the fridge to save bending; fit anti-slip tape to stair carpet – or fit a stairlift.

There is some aid available to help with the work.
The Agence nationale de l’habitat (Anah) offers aid for the less well-off to improve household safety but this is not a right and depends on availability and your income level.

For stairlifts (monte-escalier), it is possible to get aid of 35% or 50% from Anah (depending on
your revenue). VAT can be at the lower rate of 5.5% and you can receive an income tax reduction of 25% of the value.
You can also apply for a grant from your conseil général.

However, market leader Stannah said that the homeowner has to apply for the aid themselves
and many give up and pay independently as it can be a lengthy process.

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