What are NDIS Home Modifications?
Home Modifications are changes to an individual’s home. They involve the modifying the layout, structure or fittings of the home to enable improved access and liveability. They’re are about improving access, safety and independence for the individual and those supporting them with daily care needs.
Types of Home Modifications
Ceiling hoists, grab rails, accessible bathrooms – where to begin! Home modifications can range from minor modifications like grab rails and ramps, through to layout and major structural changes, or complex home modifications such as bathrooms, kitchens and hoists, aimed at making your home more suited to your needs.
What is funded by the NDIS or other funding body
The NDIS can fund a variety of home modifications, where due to an individual’s disability, the individual or their family are unable to reasonably use frequently used areas of the home. Moreover, where an individual’s home causes significant impact on the sustainability of that person’s living arrangements, the NDIS can fund modifications that better the individual’s access, independence and safety.
The NDIS can fund minor and complex home modifications, providing the support meets criteria that is set out by the NDIS. As with any NDIS funding, modifications should represent value for money and be cost effective when compared to alternative options. Our home modifications page contains a comprehensive list of minor and major home modifications examples.
In some cases, where more permanent modifications may not be suitable for a variety of reasons, along with options for minor modifications, it is possible to hire equipment, allowing an individual or family greater flexibility in living circumstances.
The NDIS certainly isn’t the only funding body that can support home modifications too. Various insurance and state government funding bodies also have provisions in place for the funding and support of home modifications. In any case, it is important that you understand how your circumstances effect what can be funded and how you can go about accessing these supports.
What’s not funded
It is important to keep in mind that there are some exceptions to what can be funded by the NDIS. This could include:
- Modifications to the home that are likely to cause harm to the participant or pose a risk to others,
- Modifications that are not related to the participants disability,
- Supports that are duplicated by other supporting funding frameworks, or
- Any modification that relates to day to day living costs
Knowing what is and isn’t funded is critical when exploring what NDIS home modification support is available. An Occupational Therapist can assist you in determining what supports are available and what home modifications are possible.
What an Occupational Therapist can do
Any home modification process is a challenge. If not undertaken correctly, timelines can drag out and any desired outcome can go missed. Even minor home modifications, if not managed correctly can be an exhausting and over complicated process. A highly experienced Occupational Therapist trained in complex home modifications is a means of expediently navigating the entire process – from initial assessment, the NDIS application, all the way through to project completion.
Assess you, in your home
One of the first things a trained home modifications OT can do is an in-home assessment. This initial consultation we will meet with you to discuss and assess your home environment and look at what changes can be made.
The initial assessment duration is approximately 2 hours and is a great opportunity for you to discuss any relevant issues with the OT, such as measurements, what is involved (scope of works) and who may need to be involved (project managers, tradespersons, etc.) whilst they conduct a full home modifications assessment.
Highly experienced home modifications OT’s can make recommendations based on your recommendations, environment and needs, now and into the future. Knowing what changes are possible, in conjunction with the right equipment is critical in ensuring your NDIS or other funding body application will be hassle free and approved in the shortest amount of time possible.
Rest assured the assessment is an ongoing process and open dialogue in which your OT will liaise with you back and forth to achieve the best outcome. We understand this is your home and environment.
Liaise with project managers and tradespersons
Any significant or complex home modifications will involve you and your home modifications OT working with an NDIS registered Project Manager. The home modifications trained OT will engage your Project Manager and liaise with any tradespersons, to complete works.
Importantly, not all major home modifications require NDIS approved Project Managers. Your Occupational Therapist will be able to inform you who you’ll need on your team. An example is for minor modifications such as grab rails or hand held shower hoses.
Complete NDIS funding applications
Arguably the most important aspect of the process is the compiling of the NDIS application. This involves all of the above, along with a detailed understanding of the legislation underpinning what NDIS will and will not fund.
Although seemingly simple, some home modification applications can take 4-5 hours depending on the complexity. Having an Occupational Therapist who has significant experience within the NDIS home modifications space is critical in knowing how to compose and who to liaise with to submit your application in a timely manner.
When the work is nearing completion, a final inspection appointment will be organised with yourself, the Project Manager and Occupational Therapist. This is to assess the job, flag any issues and check you are happy with the final product. The Occupational Therapist will also complete a ‘dry run’ of you utilising your modifications to check if any further supports are required ie: an additional grab rail next to the toilet.
Contact us here, if you need an Evolve OT to assist with anything NDIS Home Modifications.