Equipment for independent living and mobility

Information about the types of equipment and technology you can use to help with daily life after a stroke.

After a stroke, daily tasks such as getting around, cooking and bathing may be more difficult than before.

Many people benefit from using special equipment. There are many products available, some of which your local authority may be able to provide.

New technology makes it possible to operate equipment in your home using a remote control or a mobile phone. For example, starting a dishwasher, switching on lights and locking doors.

Types of equipment

There is a huge range of equipment and technology available to make everyday life easier. Some examples are:

Bathing aids: Grab rails, non-slip mats, bath and shower seats.

Dressing: Long-handled devices to help you do up your buttons, specialist clothing with easy-to-use fastenings.

Furniture: Electric beds and chairs to help you sit up or stand up.

Kitchen aids: Easy-to-use tin openers, kettle tippers, non-slip mats and cutlery with large handles for easy grip.

Mobility aids: Walking sticks and frames, wheelchairs, electric scooters, stairlifts.

Making life at home safer: Personal alarms, grab rails, sensor mats, movement sensory lights.

Telephones: Landline phones are available with large displays and flashing lights.

Mobile phones, tablets: Most mobile phones and tablets offer accessibility features like voice-activated internet searches. Apps can do things like reading text such as a menu aloud or identifying products in supermarkets. For more information about accessible technology visit abilitynet.org.uk.

Digital assistants or smart speakers: Examples of voice-activated smart speakers include the Amazon Echo and Google Home. You give instructions verbally for functions like playing music or searching the internet. It can be linked to the radio and TV or other devices in the house. Some apps let you control the heating, answer a door, or open curtains via a smart speaker.

Help with buying equipment

If you need help and support at home after a stroke, contact your local authority. They can arrange for you to have support and care needs assessment. This assessment is usually done by an occupational therapist or social worker who will visit you at home.

As part of the assessment, they will look at whether you need any equipment or adaptations in your home. The help you can get from your local authority is means-tested.

This means that the amount of money you get depends on your income and other circumstances, so you may have to pay for some of the help you need yourself. There may also be some types of equipment that your local authority will not provide for free.

Personal alarms

Personal alarm systems (sometimes called community alarms) can help you to stay independent in your own home. They usually involve an alarm system that is linked to your telephone, and a pendant with a button that you wear around your neck so you can press it and automatically call for help in an emergency. Some alarms are also linked to the smoke detector.

If you think you would benefit from a personal alarm, make sure you mention it at your support and care needs assessment. Or contact your local authority directly, as they may be able to provide one or suggest a suitable alarm system for you.

Essential Aids

We’ve teamed up with Essential Aids, the UK’s online store for daily living aids, to offer a range of products that can help make everyday tasks easier for stroke survivors. They provide useful items to help with dressing, eating and other everyday tasks. If the item you are buying is for a stroke survivor, mention this at the checkout and Essential Aids will donate 5% of the item price to the Stroke Association. For more information, visit stroke.org.uk/essential-aids.

Where can I get advice?

The Disabled Living Foundation has a range of resources to help you decide which pieces of equipment could help you, and where you can buy them from.

There are also Disabled Living Centres in the UK where you can get advice on aids and equipment. Most of them have products on show, so you can try them out before you buy them.

Aids and equipment can vary in price so it’s worth contacting a few different suppliers before buying a product. Some suppliers will let you try things out before you buy them, or you may be able to hire equipment if you only need it for a short time.


You can find out more about equipment for independent living and mobility in the linked PDFs below.

Information guide

Where to get help and information from the Stroke Association

Helpline
Call us on 0303 3033 100,from a textphone 1800 0303 3033 100
Email: helpline@stroke.org.uk
Our Helpline offers information and support for anyone affected by stroke, including family, friends and carers.

Other sources of help and information

Advice about equipment and mobility aids

Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)

Helpline: 0300 999 0004
Email: info@dlf.org.uk Advice about equipment for people with disabilities. Their online tool, AskSARA, gives advice specific to your needs. Their website lists products and suppliers.

RiDC (Research Institute for Disabled Consumers)

Phone: 0720 7427 2460
Email: mail@ridc.org.ukRiDC produces consumer guides to help you choose equipment and suppliers.

Product suppliers

AA Mobility Scotland

Phone: 01236 761 596
Supplies a range of mobility aids and equipment in Scotland.

Able2Wear Ltd

Phone: 0141 775 3738
Specialist clothing for people with disabilities.

Anything Left-Handed

Phone: 01737 888 269
Specialist products for people who use their left hand.

Health Care Equipment

Phone: 0845 260 7061
Email: info@otstores.co.ukSupplies daily living, occupational therapy and physiotherapy aids.

Hearing and Mobility

Phone: 0800 033 4060
Sells a wide range of products including household and mobility equipment.

NRS Healthcare

Phone: 0345 121 8111
Email: customerservice@nrshealthcare.co.ukCatalogue of aids and equipment for independent living and rehabilitation.

Telecare Services Association

Phone: 01625 520 320
List suppliers of alarms across the UK

Performance Health

Phone: 03448 730 035
Email: ukmedicalsales@performancehealth.comOffers a range of medical and rehabilitation equipment.

Remap (England and Wales)

Phone: 01732 760 209

Remap (Scotland)

Phone: 01466 730 705

Remap is a charity that makes or adapts equipment for people with disabilities if nothing suitable is already available.

Personal and community alarms

RiDC

Information to help you choose a community alarm, including a checklist that sets out what a good service should provide.

Telecare Services Association

Phone: 01625 520 320
List suppliers of alarms across the UK

Disclaimer: The Stroke Association provides the details of other organisations for information only. Inclusion on My Stroke Guide does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement.