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Home Modifications in the Community
Under the NDIS, participants may have funding in their plan, or have an upcoming review of their current plan to obtain home modifications to their residence. You may be eligible for home modifications due to your disability, current living environment or our Occupational Therapists have made an assessment that your place of residence needs the added support to provide you with a livable home.
Community Therapy’s Occupational Therapists (OT) conduct the necessary assessments and plans for home modification services under the NDIS. Our OTs will work collaboratively with builders and suppliers to have works completed once the NDIA approve the works.
We service all types of properties and occupancy agreements. We primarily work with adults living over 18 that are living with physical or neurological disabilities.
For further reading on this subject, please note our creating safe environments page.
Home Modification Assessments
We work to conduct all measurements, liaise with builders, liaise with property owners, complete the home modification assessment and send it to the NDIA.
Assessment forms should demonstrate:
- The modification is reasonable and necessary
- The modification shows long term viability
- Alternative and/or lower-cost options have been considered
- Adequate reasoning as to why certain options are unsuitable
Feedback from the NDIS
The NDIA will then process the home modification assessment and provide feedback to the clinician. This feedback could be a request for further information or recommendations of other modifications to trial.
Ideally, the NDIA will approve the reasonable and necessary home modifications.
Our Occupational Therapist will liaise with the respective stakeholders (i.e. building management, body corporate, strata, builders, suppliers) to initiate the project.
In the event property is not owner-occupied, we will assist with negotiating with the property owner to identify what occurs if the participant vacates the property.
Project Management of Home Modifications Expertise
Community Therapy has been a registered NDIS provider since 2016 and our OTs undergo home modification specific professional development and are experienced with the assessment forms required by the NDIS for home modifications.
In assessing for and planning home modifications our OTs will consider the medical and functional condition of the participant and aim to identify modifications that will be viable in the long term.
Home modifications vary, they could be low cost and have a low environmental impact, such as the addition of handrails, ramps or door handles. They could also be quite extensive, such as modifying the entry to the property, driveways, kitchen, electronic benches or installing a chairlift.
We gain satisfaction when home modifications are completed successfully, and the participant achieves their goals relating to safety, mobility, independence and accessibility at home.
Learn More About Home Modifications
What happens if the participant moves to another location?
During the initial assessment, we ask the participant regarding their plans to relocate or stay at their current property.
This information can affect the type of modification we consider and the approval from the NDIA
In the event a participant moves to another location, they simply re-engage Community Therapy and our OTs will perform an environmental assessment at the new property. This will let the participant know what modifications are required to make the property suitable to live in.
What denotes a ‘senior’ Occupational Therapist and scope of practice?
A senior occupational therapist usually possesses over 3-5 years of work experience.
Scope of practice refers to possessing the adequate skills and experience in their profession to deliver the home modification assessment and report.
This means the OT has had experience in the past completing it. Typically, this would have been under another senior OT’s supervision, eventually deeming the OT safe and suitable to complete them independently.
Our Home Modification Process – Step 1
For home modification referrals, we will first determine if we’re a suitable provider to consider.
Community Therapy primarily supports adult NDIS participants over 18 living with physical and/or neurological disabilities. We are mobile throughout Newcastle and the greater Hunter, Port Stephens and the Central Coast NSW.
Our Home Modification Process – Step 2
The first meeting will involve a face to face meeting between the participant and Community Therapy’s Occupational Therapist. This is primarily to understand the condition of the property and the intentions of the participant (i.e. they may be moving in the near future).
We assess the environment and begin to determine what are the clinically reasonable and necessary modifications to help the participant live safely now, and in the future.
We produce a formalised service agreement at the first appointment.
Our Home Modification Process – Step 3
Our Occupational Therapists will perform what was originally stipulated in the service agreement regarding the home modification assessments and plans. Our OTs often then support participants with improving life skills and improving functional capacity.
We provide participants with the direct phone number of their clinician.
Community Therapy is also available by phone on 1300 031 935.
Industry Update – Changes to the NDIS Home Modifications
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) announced changes to their Home Modification Guidelines in September 2022.
One of the key changes was the definition of minor modifications and complex modifications determined by cost and structural impact of the property.
Our on-demand free webinar covers all the key changes to the Home Modifications categories and process (suitable for Allied Health Professionals, support coordinators and planners).