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On the Role of an Occupational Therapist in Determining Home Modification Needs

Have you often wondered how an OT can be involved in helping someone determine the environmental changes they need in their home?

OT s work with a range of clients of all ages from different backgrounds and they bring their knowledge of health conditions and disabilities to this home modification process.

OTs can visit a person’s accommodation to interview and observe them doing a range of activities within and outside the home. The OT notes the barriers that the person may experience as they use their equipment and/or manage with carers. When appropriate, measurements are taken of the person’s reach range, eye height, their equipment and the space required to accommodate the equipment and carer. The OT can come up with a range of options to consider prior to recommending a home modification. These options may include suggesting an alternative way to do an activity, recommending the use of a piece of equipment or considering carer support. OTs often collaborate with architects and/or builders to gather technical advice on the structure of the home, and to develop the concept drawings for changes required to the home. This is seen as a valuable partnership.

When a recommendation is made by the OT, the person’s health, safety, independence, quality of life and capacity for home and community participation are considered.

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