Home Modifications: how can they help you?
Knowledge of Universal Design and other principles of making homes accessible to all is growing. Although a lot of new homes are built with these principles in mind, a lot of older homes can be impractical for people who are living with disability and may require modification.
What are Home Modifications?
Home Modifications are changes to your home that can be made to make is safer and more accessible for you.
What does accessible mean?
There are a number of definitions for the word accessible including:
- able to be reached or entered
- able to be easily obtained or used
- easily understood or appreciated
In real terms when regarding a home, this can mean changes that allow you to:
- get in and out of your shower recess independently in a way that is safe and suitable for you
- Sit at your kitchen bench in your wheelchair and have the bench at a height that suits you
- Access your home in a way that suits you best i.e.: via stairclimber or water lift
- Move through doorways, hallways and around spaces without impediment
What types of modifications are there?
There are numerous simple modifications that can be very low cost and helpful including:
- non slip coating
- External handrails,
- Wedge ramps
- Box steps
- False floors
- Hand-held shower hoses
- Grab rails
- Flick mixers
- Therapeutic use of colour and contrast
Other modifications can be more complex and costly and may involve:
- Water lifts
- Removal of bath tubs and replacement with tiled shower recesses with a small hob
- Gutting of bathroom and construction of wheelchair accessible bathrooms to AS1428
- Complex ramping systems to overcome steps and land falls in highset houses
- Environmental control units (to control lights, fans, tv’s, airconditioners) with the touch of one switch (or voice activation)
- automatic door openers
Who’s the best person to help with modifications?
Occupational Therapists are the best people to ask advice about modifications that may suit you.
Occupational Therapists are experts in understanding your condition, its impact on your daily activity, your equipment and how you need to use your equipment in your home environment. Based on this knowledge, Occupational Therapists can then make recommendations to suit your needs.
Need to know more?
For advice on how your home can be customised to meet your specific needs, contact us today for an Occupational Therapy assessment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 1300 729 190 and we will be happy to help!