Home modifications can benefit patients of all ages and health conditions. As the population of older adults continues to grow and “age in place”, home modification interventions are becoming more important to prevent injury in the home.

Considerations:

  • Fall risk reduction
  • Functional performance
  • Quality of life
  • Caregiver burden

Recommendations:

  • Multicomponent interventions (home modifications and other fall prevention interventions) that include occupational therapy to reduce falls
  • Home modification interventions to improve function in frail older adults
  • Home modification interventions to improve the ability to provide care to others in the home, especially those with dementia
  • Home modification interventions to improve the functional ability of care recipients in the home setting

Process:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Identification
  3. Implementation & Training
  4. Reviewing outcomes

Scope:

  • Alteration & Adjustment
  • Addition
  • Removal of hazards

Factors to consider

  • Mobility assistive device & DME: appropriate for the person
  • Mobility: transfers and functional mobility between ADLs & IADLs safe
  • Lighting: adjust poor lighting or too much glare (including nighttime for nocturia)
  • Support: properly installed rails and grab bars
  • Supplies: commonly used supplies within reach (placement, positioning)
  • Fall hazards: removing clutter and throw rugs
  • Furniture: sturdy, stable and secure
  • Communication: Emergency and routine, within reach and can operate
  • Pet care: body mechanics and fall hazards (pet toys, bowls, trash)
  • Environmental hazards: walkways are clear, terrain (cracks), burn hazards (stoves, water heater set to safe temperature), drowning hazards (seizures)
  • Comfort: thermostats within reach and adjustable
  • Fire safety: escape plan, working smoke detectors, fire hazards away from upholstery, fire extinguisher functional & within reach

Also:

  • Outdoor fall risks: cracks, uneven payment, tree roots, garbage

Recommendations:

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OTDUDE
Jeff is the lead writer for OTDUDE.com and covers all things Occupational Therapy. Buy me a Bubble Tea: Venmo @otdude