A person with a disability or ill health can find that the property they live in becomes difficult to get around. The access could have too many steps, they may not be able to manage the stairs inside and become confined to one floor or one room, the bathroom may be difficult to use or the kitchen might be difficult to access. This can become an issue over time if someone has a deteriorating condition. Or it could be an immediate issue such as if a person experiences a sudden trauma like a spinal injury. The property where they were previously living may no longer be suitable for their change of circumstances.

An Occupational Therapist will look at the person’s abilities, medical history and future prognosis, activities, and roles, and the current property. They can then assess how suitable the current property is and what issues are likely to arise. The OT can determine if any equipment is suitable or adaptations to this property would be feasible (often in conjunction with a surveyor) to enable independence.

If this is not a solution, rehousing may need to be considered. If rehousing is required, an Occupational Therapist can write a report about what type of property would meet the needs of a person. If the person is going to be looking at local authority properties or social housing, the report can be sent into the local authority to support the application. When a property comes up to view, the Occupational Therapist can view it with the person to assess whether it may meet their needs, and look any potential adaptation needs.

If the client is looking at private housing, the same applies. The OT can visit properties with the person, determine if it might be suitable and make recommendations about what changes might need to be made. They can then work with the architect and contractors to ensure any required adaptations carried out are appropriate. If you would like further advice about this, please contact us.