Personal Care / Daily Living


57. Where can I try out equipment such as bathing & toilet aids?

The right equipment can make a big difference to your ability to live independently in your home. It’s a good idea to get specialist advice and to always try out equipment before you buy it.
Somerset County Council’s AskSARA service (see question 15 for details) may be useful for viewing equipment and providing information on where you might be able to try it. You can also call Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 for advice on equipment.
Assist UK are an organisation that run Disabled Living Centres across the country. They offer a chance to view and try out products. Visit their website – – for more information. The nearest Disabled Living Centres to Somerset are:
The Vassall Centre,
BS16 2QQ
Telephone: 0117 965 9353
Independent Living Centre,
St. George’s Road,
BA14 6JQ
Telephone: 01380 871 007


58. What equipment should be provided through health and social care services?

Some equipment may be provided after an assessment of your needs by an Occupational Therapist. This may include bathing aids and grab rails or other personal care aids. To make a request for assessment please contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 or talk to your GP or District Nurse.


59. Where can I get a stair lift?

If you feel that you may need a stair lift, it is recommended that you first seek the advice of an Occupational Therapist (see question 7). She/he will be able to assess your needs fully and advise you whether this is the best option longer-term, depending on your diagnosis and abilities.
Some people may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of installing a stair lift (see question 51).
Stair lifts can be obtained from a number of local suppliers.


60. How do I get help with housework, gardening, simple DIY and larger adaptations?.

Somerset County Council help to fund Aster Living Care and Repair who provide home improvement services. They provide all aspects of help and support such as drawing plans and obtaining quotes. They also hold a list of reliable contractors who will conduct the work.

Advice and information is provided free of charge but they may have to charge for the technical work. They do help find financial information and support for any work that is carried out. Contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 for further details and information or contact Aster Living direct at:
Aster Living Care and Repair
Flourish House
2 Cathedral Avenue
Telephone: 01749 832016
Aster also provide a subsidised handyperson service called Handihelp which helps with smaller repairs and general maintenance.
There is a charge for this service and they can provide a quotation beforehand if you wish to seek alternative help. Contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 or: Handihelp
Telephone: 0333 400 8299


61. Do I have any choice in home carers who come to the home?

You may have a home carer provided directly by your Adult Care Team at Somerset County Council. Whilst they cannot guarantee you a choice of provider, if you have particular preferences they will try to accommodate them. They will also do their best to provide services that fit in with your way of life and your cultural needs.

If you are eligible for Direct Payments, you may be able to recruit carers yourself. Alternatively,you may have paid for a home carer that is provided through an agency. If you have any preferences or concerns, you should discuss this with the agency in the first instance. All home care agencies in England are regulated and inspected regularly by the Care Quality Commission. This guarantees certain minimum standards of service. Home care agencies must also conduct police checks on all employees who will be working with older and/or disabled people.


62. Is there any way my spouse/family carer can have relevant training to help with their role?

Somerset Partnership NHS Trust run various courses to help carers in their role. Contact:
Jan Chamberlain, Carers Services
Somerset Partnership,
The Bridge,
Priory Park,
Glastonbury Road,
Telephone: 01749 836633


63. What services are available for carers in Somerset?

As a carer you are entitled to a Carers’ Assessment in your own right and continued support from a range of services available. Carers of people with physical health problems have a right to request a Carer’s Assessment from Somerset County Council.
Please telephone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 or visit the Somerset County Council website for further information
Specialist carers support services are provided by Compass Carers. Compass Carers is the first dedicated support service for carers across Somerset, offering information, advice and guidance as well as emotional support, signposting, training, and a telephone support service for un-paid carers. They can be contacted at:
Compass Disability Network,
Unit 11-12 Belvedere Trading Estate,
Telephone: 01823 255911

The Carers’ Services Team for Somerset Partnership will assess carers of patients with physical problems but are based within Community Mental Health Teams across Somerset. The Carers’ Services Team can be contacted by telephone.
CAWs (Care Assessment Workers) for Adults
Mendip 01749 836597
Taunton 01823 368396
South Somerset 01935 428420
SomersetCoast 01278 720238

Older Persons CAWs:
Mendip & South Somerset
Telephone: 01935 428420 / 01749 836736
or 07596 220097

Carers of people with mental health problems receiving services from Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can request a carers’ assessment and access specialist carers’ services provided by the Trust. Details can be found at or telephone 01749 836606 / 01749 836633.

Carers UK Taunton and South Somerset can be contacted on 07737432153 or emailed at
Alternatively the Carer’s UK National Advice Line can be contacted on 0808 8087777 between 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00 on a Wednesday and Thursday.


64. How can my partner get a break from caring for me?

You can contact the Council’s Adult Social Care Services department at:
Contact no: 0300 123 2224 or 0845 345 9122
They can provide any information and advice that you might need. There is a sitting service which provides qualified carers to come and assist your carer. Such as accompanying you to appointments or staying with you whilst your carer goes out, view – to find out more.

It is sometimes also possible for you to spend time away in a care home for a residential short break. You can find lists of care homes at –
You can also use support groups in the area (see question 63 above for further details).
It is sometimes possible for you to use Direct Payments to cover the costs of breaks for you and your carer (see question 52 for information.)


65. What can I do if I feel I have been a victim of crime?

If you have been a victim of crime or you know someone who you think is being targeted because of their disability contact your local police station and report the incident as a suspected Hate Crime, the police will then prioritise the incident. You can also contact 999 in an emergency or 101 if raising a concern and again quote the incident as a suspected Hate Crime where you feel the victim has been targeted because of their disability.
The Disability Independent Advisory Group
is a network of volunteers who work with and advise Avon & Somerset Police on all matters relating to disability. If you wish to contact them to flag up any issues or to join the group please contact Sumita Hutchison on