Who do you see?

Anyone who is having difficulty completing activities within their home environment

What do you do?

A home visit assessment is completed to gather information and assess the set up. This includes; access to and within the house particularly the bedroom, toilet, bathroom and kitchen, assessing the need for any rails to enable safety and independence, considering the need for any equipment such as shower chairs, over the toilet frames or high back chairs, looking for any trip hazards and provide safety recommendations. After the home visit interventions is provided in the way of ramps, rails and home modifications. These are then completed with the landlords’ permission via a carpenter or plumber. Equipment is provided and set up. Education is also provided to the person/family about the equipment provided and any recommendations regarding functional transfers, etc.

Where do you do it?

Peoples’ homes. Home visits can be arranged via occupational therapists working at;

  • public or private hospitals,
  • private and not-for-profit community services.

Case example:

A 25 year old man, Matt, was in a motor vehicle accident and sustained a spinal cord injury. Matt uses a self-propelling manual wheelchair for mobility. A home visit is completed when Matt is nearing the end of his rehabilitation and his level of long-term function is known. The occupational therapist assesses Matt’s house and completes the following:

  • Measures for a permanent ramp at his front entrance, and a small rubber ramp inside the front entrance to enable Matt to propel himself inside. Measurements are provided to a carpenter to install the ramp
  • Measures all doorways in his house and confirms Matt would be able to propel himself through in his wheelchair
  • Liaises with a carpenter/builder to complete structural modifications in Matt’s bathroom to create a level shower and install a toilet in the open bathroom so that Matt could wheel a self-propelling commode into the shower and over the toilet
  • Provides Matt with a self-propelling commode and education to his family on the maintenance and use of this
  • Provides recommendations to Matt’s family of where to move his bed for access
  • Provides recommendations of where to move common kitchen appliances to allow ease of access by Matt
  • Provides all measurements, recommendations and photos to Matt’s rehabilitation occupational therapist

How can I find out more?

OT Services in the Home Interest Group. Please contact the WA Occupational Therapy Association if you would like further information – info@waota.com.au