A council in Cumbria has pledged a pot of money worth £900,000 to help elderly or disabled residents adapt their houses and purchase equipment from local access and mobility providers to make their homes more accessible.
Barrow Borough Council hopes its Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) will help fund around 100 families across the borough, some of whom could receive as much as £40,000 to help pay for adaptations like stairlifts and wetrooms.
The council is able to offer applicants an additional £10,000 on top of the statutory sum of £30,000, which is provided from central government.
Chief executive of Barrow and District Disability Association, Margaret Burrow, welcomed the new funding, describing it as important within an “ageing community like Barrow”.
She told the NWE Mail: “I hate it when I hear of older people who have to use a commode downstairs because they can’t get up their stairs, it’s so undignifed.”
“This news is wonderful for people. Especially as we’ve got double the average amount of people with disabilities, and it isn’t cheap to be disabled.”
But Ms Burrow is worried some elderly residents would not necessarily think of applying for help.
“They have been brought up to be very proud and think they don’t need charity. Well this is not charity, this is their right, this a national right,” she added.
Meanwhile, council leader, Dave Pidduck, said it was making funds more accessible to people.
He said: “They help people with disabilities to live in their own home and to live comfortably. At one time there was a cap so we were trying to make this more accessible to people and are encouraging people to apply and take full advantage of this.