Environmental adaptations can have a massive impact on a persons life when completed to meet their specific needs. An Occupational Therapist is able to assess and make recommendations to meet individual needs. Some of the feedback Rehab Jigsaw has had….
‘I look forward to getting ready to go out and do not have to have my husband here for me to go out. The stairlift and wet room are fabulous’
‘My husband can go upstairs to bed now we have a stairlift. He sleeps much better upstairs’
‘The ramp enables me to get in / out of the office in my wheelchair. With the alterations to the internal doors I can also access the toilets’
‘I feel safer with the hand rail installed at the front door, it has increased my confidence to go out’
‘I can stay in my own home rather than moving house’
Environmental adaptations assist a person to manage either at home, at work or in the community. However, considering which adaptations are most appropriate for a child or adult can be a complex area with many difficult decisions. Often advice is required. Expert advice will ensure that the planned adaptations are suitable for the person to improve their quality of life. Occupational Therapists have considerable experience of assessing for and recommending adaptations to home, work and community environments.
Living at home can become difficult due to illness, injury or a long term health condition. Making alterations to their home can help a person to complete everyday tasks safely and with increased independence. Adaptations to the home assist with:
- Accessing in / out of the house.
- Answering the door.
- Managing the stairs.
- Accessing all the rooms in the house.
- Using the bathroom.
- Using the kitchen.
At work, adaptations can enable a person to remain at or return to work. This is helpful to the employer as they do not lose the experience, skills and expertise of their employee. Adaptations in the work place assist with:
- Car parking and access in / out of a vehicle.
- Getting in / out of the building.
- Travelling around the building.
- Access to toilet and changing areas.
- Using rest areas.
In community buildings, adaptations may be required to ensure equal access to all people, young and old. This can include consideration of people who experience:
- Mobility difficulties – Difficulties with access into the building and to its facilities.
- Hearing / sight loss – Their access to information, signage and communication systems.
- Dementia / memory loss – Problems with environmental orientation.
In my experience adaptations are:
- Small alterations i.e. a grab rail, handrail, second banister rail, telecare or a door entry system.
- Larger adaptations i.e. stairlift, level access shower, door widening, ramp installation or alteration to kitchen work units.
- Specialist adaptations i.e ceiling track hoists, vertical lifts, external step lifts, wash / dry toilets, dementia friendly environments, wheelchair accessible extensions and fully accessible kitchens.
There are many suppliers and products on the market with many options. With this it is sometimes difficult to know which is most appropriate for the persons needs and the environment. It is strongly recommended that advice is sought. An Occupational Therapist is ideally placed to provide this. They are able to work alongside others involved with the person to assess, recommend and provide advice on the specification for the adaptation. Rehab Jigsaw Occupational Therapists provide specialist individual advice and can:
- Assess the person in a timely manner.
- Identify the needs of the person.
- Consider the home, work, school or community environment.
- Make recommendations to meet the persons needs.
- Provide detailed specifications and advice on possible suppliers.
- Advise on possible funding options.
- Co-ordinate estimates.
- Check that completed adaptations meet a persons needs.
There is lots of information regarding adaptations available on the internet and these resources are most noteworthy:
1. Lifetime Homes – www.lifetimehomes.org.uk
Provide information on 16 design criteria for building accessible and adaptable buildings.
2. Age Uk – www.ageuk.org.uk
Free guide for download – “Adapting Your Home.’ This provides advice on home adaptations. There are also information sheets that may be of interest.
3. Independent Age – www.independentage.org/
Free guide for download ‘Adapting Your Home to Stay Independent’.
4. Care and Repair England – www.careandrepair-England.org.uk
Free guide – “ Delivering Housing Adaptations for Disabled People’. This is a detailed guide relating to legislation, guidance and food practice.
5. Muscular Dystrophe UK – www.musculardystrophyuk.org
Free download guide ‘Adaptations Manual: For children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions.
In conclusion, Rehab Jigsaw has experienced Occupational Therapists who are able to assess, consider their environment, and make both specific and detailed recommendations. The Occupational Therapist will consider individual wishes and preferences and recommend adaptations to improve a persons independence and quality of life, promote the safety of carers and have consideration of others living or working in the same environment. Rehab Jigsaw accepts referrals from the person themselves and their family. We also accept referrals from employers, charities, schools, other clinicians, case managers and insurers.
Please get in touch to arrange an assessment. Rehab Jigsaw will work with you to ensure that adaptations are appropriate.