Below is the general process HMOTA members use for modifying a home for accessibility, or for someone with a disability or degenerative disease:
1. Someone needs to modify a home due to an injury or a degenerative disease.
2. The occupational therapist evaluates the environment, the client, caregivers on how care is given, how they carry out daily tasks, needs of the family and what adaptive equipment is required based on the person’s functional level and self-care skills.
During the assessment areas are identified as barriers to safety, independence and accessibility. Durable medical equipment solutions are also identified which could be as simple as a grab bar or complex as a stairlift or elevator.
3. The occupational therapist compiles a written evaluation of the home with recommendations of modifications, medical equipment and fixtures that are required for safety, independence and ease of care. The client, family, the occupational therapist and often times the builder or architect/designer review the recommendations and develop a plan based on client goals and lifestyle. The plan could be simple such as acquiring medical equipment or very complex such as remodeling an entire home.
4. After the plan is developed it is given to the design/build team. The design/build team can include: a builder, remodeler, architect, interior designer and occupational therapist.
5. The architect or interior designer leads the design team. HMOTA has architects and designers that work on our projects and specialize in accessibility. The homeowner, builder and the occupational therapist as part of the design team consult with the architect or interior designer on the design to ensure lifestyle-fit, building and accessibility requirements are met.
6. After a design is agreed upon by the client, family and team. The builder compiles a bid with the occupational therapist identifying specific fixtures and adaptive equipment that will be functional for the client.
7. The builder/remodeler brings the plans together taking the design from a concept into reality.
8. After the home modifications have been performed the occupational therapist works with the client and family on safe and functional use of the home and resources.
Sometimes modifying a home for aging-in-place or a disability or injury is not feasible due to the structure of the home, cost to modify or basic home design. When modifying a home isn’t an option working with a realtor with a CAPS designation to identify a more appropriate home is important.
Click here to find a home modification occupational therapist near you.