On this page we divide the websites into:
1. Online retailers
2. Charities and other organisations providing support to older people living at home
Search for ‘independent living’ on the Argos website and you will find a range of aids to help with mobility, home living and leisure time. You can order them online and collect from your nearest branch.
A web-based information resource on assistive technologies (including telecare) for people with dementia. In addition to general information, the website contains a database of products that may be appropriate for people with dementia.
Telephone: 0115 74 84220
Search for ‘independent living’ on the Boots website and there is a small range of aids. You can order them online and collect from your nearest branch.
Co-operative Independent Living
This website offers a range of disability aids and healthcare equipment designed to make life easier for older people in particular.
Telephone: 0800 622 6001
Independent 4 Life
Independent 4 Life provide specialist products to assist older and disabled people looking for increased independence in their day-to-day lives.
Freephone: 0800 500 3001
Living Made Easy
Living Made Easy is the Disabled Living Foundation’s website, which gives further information about products and equipment, with links to commercial retailers. The Living Made Easy website does not have a complete list of all the products on the market but you can contact the helpline direct for further information if you are looking for a specific item of equipment
Helpline: 0300 999 0004
Mobility Equipment Hire UK
This company leases mobility equipment for holidays, and delivers it to your required destination in the UK and abroad. It can deliver to countries including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, USA and even to the Caribbean.
Telephone: 0800 644 6062
This website (previously known as Nottingham Rehab Supplies) has a comprehensive range of products and services designed to support independent living, including daily living aids, mobility equipment, disability equipment. It is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA).
Although this website provides equipment to the NHS and private hospitals, among other businesses, it’s possible to register as a private individual. There is a very wide range of products available from this site.
A website focusing on products that promote technology for independent living.
Charities and other organisations providing support to older people living at home
Action on Hearing Loss (AHL)
Previously known as the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, AHL is a charity that provides excellent information for people with partial or total hearing loss.
Telephone: 0808 808 0123
Independent charity giving advice to older people, including advice on finding, choosing and financing home care services. The charity also runs handyperson services offering older people help with small jobs around the home.
Telephone: 0800 169 6565
Handyperson services: www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security/handyperson-services/
A charity aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia. Their online shop has many products specifically for dementia sufferers.
Telephone: 020 7423 3500
Helpline: 0300 222 11 22
Online shop: http://shop.alzheimers.org.uk/
In Scotland, contact Alzheimer Scotland – Action on dementia
British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA)
BHTA is the UK’s oldest and largest healthcare association. Its members make or sell assistive technology products and its Code of Practice is overseen by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). As well as providing advice, it also deals with complaints independently, so it’s worth contacting them if you have any problems with a mobility scooter manufacturer or equipment supplier.
Telephone: 020 7702 2141
Care services directory
Use the Which? Elderly Care directory to search for local domiciliary care agencies if you are looking for extra support in the home for your relative.
Care & Repair
A national charity aiming to improving the housing and living conditions of older people and disabled people. They also provide a handyperson service
Care & Repair England
Telephone: 0115 950 6500
Care & Repair Scotland
Telephone: 0141 221 9879
Care & Repair Cymru
Telephone: 0300 111 3333
College of Occupational Therapists practitioners directory
To find an independent occupational therapist go to the College of Occupational Therapist specialist section of independent practitioners. You will be able to search for an occupational therapist by postcode and specialism.
Disabled Living Centres
Most centres include a permanent exhibition of equipment that provide people with opportunities to see and try products as well as information and advice. To discover a centre near you go to this page on the Focus on Disability website.
Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)
The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a national charity providing impartial advice, information and training on independent living.
DLF helpline: 0300 999 0004 (10am-4pm weekdays)
The DLF also has an equipment library for simple electronic aids, which allows people to borrow and trial certain products - see www.dlf.org.uk/library
Driving Mobility Centres
16 centres around the country that will give support and advice on all driving and mobility related concerns. There is advice for the older driver and an opportunity to drive on a safe road with support from qualified driving instructors at some centres. A number of centres also have scooters and powered wheelchairs as well as equipment useful for travelling safely in a car.
GOV.UK: Vat guidance
For more information about VAT exemptions for disabled people, see this page on the GOV.UK website.
Local Physio operates a dedicated 'Find a Physio' searchable directory for chartered physiotherapists across the UK.
The not-for-profit Motability scheme allows people with a government-funded disability allowance (a personal independence payment (PIP), which was previously known as the disability living allowance, if your relative is already using that particular benefit) to hire a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter (or car) for three years in exchange for all or part of their benefit.
Telephone: 0300 456 4566
An organisation that supports physiotherapists in independent practice, with a searchable directory for their members.
As a part of the work of the Red Cross, they provide short-term loans of wheelchairs and other equipment in outlets around the UK. The charity’s website also features many independent living products.
Telephone: 0844 89 300 90
Rica is the trading name of the national research charity Research Institute for Consumer Affairs. They focus specifically on issues of concern to disabled and older consumers. Their website has many guides to products relating to mobility, the home and technology.
Telephone: 020 7427 2460
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
The RNIB has an online shop with many products aimed at supporting blind and partially sighted people.
Telephone: 0303 123 9999
Shopmobility is a charity set up to assist people with mobility difficulties – whether permanent or temporary – with shopping or leisure pursuits in city and shopping centres through hiring powered scooters or wheelchairs.
Telephone: 0844 41 41 850
Telecare Services Association (TSA)
The UK representative body for the telecare industry. Consumers can search for providers, and the website provides information on what a telecare service is. The TSA can also give you more information about the large telecare providers.
Telephone: 01625 520 320
Page last reviewed: November 2016
Next review due: January 2019