Supporting residents to enable them to live independently for as long as possible

Councillor Helen Holland, smiling with college green, Bristol Cathedral and trees in the background.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and the Integrated Care System and Labour Councillor for Hartcliffe and Withywood ward.

Home is where the heart is. It is the place where memories are created and cherished, but, for some people, their home can start to feel like a barrier to their wellbeing if their care needs change. That might mean considering saying goodbye to the home they love and may have lived in for a considerable amount of time, and that might add to their anxiety. However, thanks the work we do with We Care Home Improvements, that doesn’t always need to be the case.

At Bristol City Council, we work with We Care Home Improvements (WECHI) to provide funded home improvement work to eligible people and where subsidies aren’t available, offer low cost loans. We started to work with them back in 2018 and recently approved an extension of their contract at Cabinet in June.

What having home adaptations can mean to someone

Home adaptations help people live independently as much as possible and can be needed for several reasons. To help them enter and leave their homes; wash, bathe and use the toilet; use living and sleeping areas; use food preparation and cooking areas; access some of the garden and reduce risks in the home related to an impairment.

The tour group, including Cllr Helen Holland and Cllr Donald Alexander stand in the garden of Addison Apartments. Behind them, the apartment building and gardens can be seen.
A picture from a visit to Addison Apartments, assisted living homes that allow people to live independently for longer.

Who can get help from us with home adaptations

We may be able to help any vulnerable adult in need of home adaptions, but we’ll see you as a priority if you’re terminally ill, your care arrangements have broken down, your health has suddenly got worse, there is risk of physical injury to you or your carer, or you can’t come home from hospital without alterations to your home.

A red heart is pictured with on a yellow background.

Returning home to a much safer environment thanks to We Care Home Improvements

We Care Home Improvements (WECHI) recently helped make home adaptations to Mr H’s house after being referred to them when he was admitted to hospital. Concerns had been raised that his home was unsafe for him to return to. He lives alone and has no close family or support network. An initial visit was made to assess the issues at the property and a visit to the hospital to agree the works with Mr H. Fall risks included an insecure handrail on the stairs, a loose stair carpet, and the wooden kitchen floor was also unsafe. In addition, the front door lock was faulty, and the toilet cistern was broken. A deep clean was required and a key-safe needed to be fitted to enable a package of care to be put in place for Mr H to return home.

Before any repair work could be undertaken, a deep clean was carried out. A WECHI handyperson visited the property to carry out the small repairs which included securing the rail and stair carpet, fixing the front door lock and fitting a key-safe to enable access for carers. The toilet was then replaced by a plumbing contractor and a carpenter carried out extensive repairs to the kitchen floor, to make it safe.

All the works were coordinated and completed within five working days, and the hospital was updated so that a package of care could be arranged for Mr H to return home as soon as possible.

You can find out more about home adaptations and equipment, how Bristol City Council can help you or someone you know carry on living independently at home and how to get in touch by visiting Home adaptations and equipment (