17 June 2016
A recent study undertaken by More Ability has highlighted concerning statistics with regards to time taken to seek an adequate bathing solution upon realisation that existing facilities are insufficient and unsafe. Furthermore the study also looks into the reasons for this delay, an area that also needs addressing in an attempt to educate and raise awareness to help overcome barriers referenced within the findings.
172, 9 part questionnaires were sent out to existing More Ability customers who, within the past 3 years, had looked into and implemented a substantial degree of bathroom adaptation work. The anonymous sample included a breadth of stylish solution customers and safe & practical solution customer. Those requiring adaptation work for more severe disabilities, bespoke & assisted solutions, were not included due to the reasons behind and likelihood of work being done in an attempt to not in validate the findings.
Of the 172 sample 79 returned the questionnaire with answers to the following 3 questions which will be specifically focused upon for the purpose of this article:
Findings indicate that 86% of the 79 who returned the questionnaire struggled before having any amount of work done. Of the 86%, 66% stated that they had struggled for an average of up to 2 years before seeking possible solutions / having any adaptation work done.
The questionnaire then went on to try and understand reasons for the delay in which 33% confirmed financial implications and cost was the underlying reasons alongside 26% stating they attempted to manage with existing facilities because of the cost involved and uncertainty / knowledge of available solutions.
Surmising these statistics they worryingly suggest that people put themselves at risk for a prolonged period of time because they simply believe the cost to adapt their bathroom in order to make it safer and easier to use is expensive to the point that they would rather use inadequate facilities that heighten their general risk when using, accelerate chances of deterioration and largely effect their quality of life.
As already highlighted the biggest barrier is cost and we feel that given the risks involved with putting such adaptation work off that more should be done with regards to educating those in this situation of the help, support and government schemes available when it comes to funding a bathroom adaption.
There are 2 scheme’s in particular that we will be focusing on for the remainder of this article which will detail what’s involved and what’s covered under each scheme and how someone can benefit from using either.
Firstly you have VAT exemption schemes – 0% & 5%.
Scheme 1: The 0% VAT scheme in relation to home adaptations and alterations, principally easy access bathrooms, is available on a certain number of products including:
In order to qualify for the 0% VAT exemption, a simple form must be filled out which includes details of any physical conditions or disabilities such as arthritis or stroke sufferers. No doctor’s notes are needed and no Occupational Therapist sign off / approval is required. In our experience, most adaptations of this nature qualify for this scheme, which is a great saving for our customers, in fact on a typical £5,000 wet room conversion a VAT exempt customer could save themselves £1,000.
Scheme 2: The second VAT scheme available is for 5% which is suitable for those over the age of 60, with regards to the supply and installation of the following:
In a typical bathroom installation of this kind we find that over two thirds of the job qualifies for this lower rate, which again can result in a great saving. On an average £5,000 walk-in bathroom conversion, a 5% VAT customer could save themselves £750.
Secondly you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant
A government backed scheme delivered through local councils. The scheme provides funding and tendered trade bodies to disabled homeowners with regards to adapting their home for ease of use, safety and risk management.
The scheme covers door widening and the installation of ramps, improvement of access to rooms and facilities, for example downstairs bath / wash rooms and stair lifts, installation of an adequate heating system suitable for your needs and the alteration of heat & lighting controls to make them easier to use.
Depending on your household income and savings you may be eligible to cover works up to the cost of £30,000 which will be approved by the council following an assessment of your needs. To apply for a disability facilities grant you can contact your local council directly or visit the government website: www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants.
Following your application it is likely your council may send an occupational therapist round to see you to check your circumstances, access your needs and see what changes you need before submitting a request for funding and work approval. It’s an easy, pain free, exercise and one we would highly recommend.
If you have any more questions regarding any of the schemes mentioned above or types of work included and available solutions please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0113 201 5030.
MoreAbility*, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires leading and most experienced bath & shower room specialist for all types of stylish, safe & practical and bespoke solutions. Offering a fully project managed design & installation service we pride ourselves on meeting individual wants, needs and aspirational requirements for both the public & private sector.