Modifying your home for mobility, access and safety
Do you have steps into your home or a hub into your shower?
Making your home accessible
Modifications can be made to your home so that you are able to move freely about and use all parts of your home. Modifications can be simple or complex and may involve building a ramp into your home, widening doors, modifying your bathroom and kitchen, installing grab rails, putting in environmental control units or automating your home. The NDIS will fund home modifications so don’t forget to mention your intentions when you are setting up your plan for the first time or at review.
Where to start
The NDIS has detailed information about home modifications explaining what is involved, the steps to take and what the NDIS will and won’t fund.
Planning your modifications – doing your research
Modifications need to be carefully planned so it’s a good idea not to rush but to do your research to find out what you need and how the process is going to work best for you. Visit the Home Modification Information Clearinghouse (HMinfo) or SCIA has gathered together some helpful resources to help you think about design and what you want to achieve.
SCIA is always available on the phone for advice and you can discuss your options with others who have had experience getting their home modified in our Community Forum .
Home modifications and Occupational Therapy under the NDIS – an important note
Any modifications costing over $1500 will require an Occupational Therapist (OT) to come to your home and do an assessment of your needs. The OT will write up a report detailing the modifications and the costs involved. When you meet with the NDIA planner to discuss your plan remember to mention that you need home modifications. This information will be added to your plan along with provision for funding for the OT assessment. Once the assessment is complete the OT will provide the report to the NDIS and the funds for the modifications will be added to your plan.
To find an occupational therapist Occupational Therapy Australia has on online directory that you can search to find an OT by location and area of expertise or you can call their national office on 03 9415 2900.
Getting the work done
Finding the right builder
Major home modifications require the services of a qualified builder and it is important that the people you get to do the work are experienced with home modifications.
The Home Modification Information Clearing House has a Service Directory where you can search for home modification and maintenance services, private builders and professional tradespeople.
DIY Do it yourself
If you have a minor modification such as installing a grab rail, the Home Modification Information Clearing House has released a DIYmodify App that provides help with planning and doing your own home modifications. The app is for anyone who has wanted to do their own modification but wasn’t sure how to start, and for those who are confident in doing it themselves but are not sure what’s possible. The app is available from the App Store or Google Play.