Independent living and occupational therapy (OT)

Adult occupational therapy services

Southend adult services can help people with physical disabilities and long-term conditions to get the most out of life. Our vision is for more people to live independently in their own homes in Southend, but some people may require additional support to achieve this.

We want to help people stay living safely at home for as long as possible. If you are struggling with any areas of living independently, there are a range of solutions to help you.

Choosing the right equipment and adaptations

Equipment and adaptations can help you live more independently at home and in your community. For example, if you:

  • find it difficult to conduct daily activities, such as having a bath or shower
  • find it hard going up and down the stairs
  • sometimes feel unsafe in your own home, or you care for someone who does

Whatever you are having difficulty with, there is most likely a piece of equipment or adaptation that can help. Here are just a few examples:

  • bath boards
  • raised toilet seats and commodes
  • grab rails

How to get equipment and home adaptations yourself

You can buy your own equipment from a number of shops locally or online.

Living Made Easy has information on a range of equipment, with guides to help you choose a product. The information and guides on their website are organised in separate categories for 'Leisure and play', 'Communicating', 'At Home', 'Health and personal care' and 'Access and mobility'.

The Carers UK: Equipment page gives general information and advice. You can find impartial guidance about all types of aids and adaptations at Carers UK: AskSARA.

Get help deciding what you need: occupational therapy (OT)

People with more complex needs may benefit from an assessment from the occupational therapy (OT) service. Occupational therapists help people to modify activities they need or want to do.

An occupational therapist can help you find practical solutions to achieve activities such as:

  • personal care such as washing, dressing, and going to the toilet
  • using the stairs
  • accessing your property or the community

If you are offered an assessment at your home. you may also want to include your family, friends or people who care for you. Following this conversation, we may recommend equipment and technology to remove barriers and help you do the things they want to do.

Solutions could include:

  • minor adaptations such as grab rails or chair/bed raisers
  • mobile or ceiling-mounted hoists
  • major adaptations to your home such as a wet room or ramps
  • moving and handling assessments
  • if you want to employ an independent occupational therapist please visit the RCOT website
  • if you require an assessment for a walking aid, please contact your GP for a referral to the community physiotherapy team

How to refer for occupational therapy

Ways to refer for an OT assessment or daily living aids.

Please note, we do not assess for:

  • mobility aids
  • mattresses/pressure care

For assistance with these matters, please contact your GP.

For all rehousing queries, please refer to On The Move.

To process your referral, please ensure you take the time to give full answers to each question in order not to delay access to the OT service.

  • you can self-refer using our online form
  • telephone call to Access team: 01702 215000


Please refer to the FAQ page if you have specific questions.

  • if mobility equipment is required, please contact your GP
  • if repairs are needed to your property, please contact your landlord/housing association/South Essex Homes
  • if assistance is required with form filling (e.g. for benefits, blue badge), please contact the Citizens Advice Service

Contact access information

Telephone: 01702 215008

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