Frequently Asked Questions
I am a consumer or family member
1. What are home modifications?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, home modifications are “changes made to adapt living spaces to increase usage, safety, security, and independence.” The goal of home modifications provided by occupational therapists is “to enhance the quality of life for older adults in their home environment, allow them to participate in valued activities, and ensure that people who plan to stay in their homes as they age make the necessary modifications to do so . . . Home modification can also benefit clients of all ages with health conditions, sensory or movement impairments, or cognitive disorders by supporting the performance of necessary and desired daily activities (occupations), safety, and well-being.”
Pictured above: Examples of home modifications can include (upper left) smart home automation technology, (lower left) grab bars in a shower stall, (middle) a tub transfer bench, and (right) a stairlift.
Photo Credits (left to right): “Independent Shower” by Nancy Hugo is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0; “Transfer bench” by Roger Mommaerts is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0; “Centerspan Medical Stairlift” by Bcm924 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
2. Why should I work with an occupational therapist?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, “occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at recognizing how the environment affects the ability to perform desired occupations. An occupational therapist evaluates balance, coordination, endurance, safety awareness, strength, attention, problem solving, vision, communication, and many other functions while the individual performs daily tasks . . . As part of the evaluation, occupational therapists analyze how a person interacts with the environment to complete a task or activity. Through this process, modifications and intervention strategies are selected to improve the fit between these elements, with a goal of maximizing safety and independence in the home. The intervention plan may include but is not limited to strategies such as adaptive equipment, lighting, family caregiver training, or remodeling . . . Occupational therapy practitioners provide a valuable perspective to a team of professionals (e.g., other healthcare workers, builders, architects), caregivers, and the client during the home modification process.”
3. I have a different question that wasn’t answered.
I am a home modifications professional
1. I am an OT who provides home modification services, or I represent an organization that actively involves OTs in the home modification process. How can I add my organization’s information to the database?
To request your organization’s information be added to the database, simply fill out this form: Click Here. Alternatively, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a phone call, or we can email you the information we need directly. There are no fees for inclusion in the database. Please allow 5 business days for processing your information. We will email you a confirmation once your information has been added.
2. I am a home modifications professional who is not an OT. Can I add my information to the database?
We strongly believe in the value that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants bring to the home modifications team. Only organizations that actively include occupational therapy practitioners as part of the home modification process are eligible for inclusion in the database at this time.
3. How do I update or remove my information from the database?
To update your information, fill out this form: Click Here. Alternatively, email us at email@example.com describing any updates to your information. There are no fees associated with this. To remove your information from the database, please email us your request directly. We are sad to see you go. To help us continue to improve our services, we would greatly appreciate if you include your reasons for removing your information. Please allow 5 business days for processing your information. We will email you a confirmation once your information has been updated or removed.
4. How is Home Maddirs funded?
Initial seed funding was obtained from a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Award. The grant covers an initial launch period for the mobile app. Sponsorship funds will go towards supporting the maintenance and sustainability of the database. We are currently exploring other funding mechanisms to continue to keep Home Maddirs free for public use and free for providers to be included. If you like what we do, learn more about ways to support us at: https://homemaddirs.com/support/
5. How was Home Maddirs created?
Home Maddirs was created when founder, An, was an OT student. She was frustrated by the lack of access to information on occupational therapists who are experienced in providing home modifications. She strongly felt this information needed to be more accessible to consumers and healthcare providers in order to reduce delays in the delivery of home modifications when they are most needed (often when patients are discharged home from the hospital). So, she created a mobile app that would enable clinicians and consumers to easily access this information. She located and verified each occupational therapist’s information over several months of online searching and networking with practitioners in this practice area across the U.S. She then conducted usability testing of the app with occupational therapists and community-dwelling older adults. She used the results to make iterative improvements to the database and mobile app design.
6. I want to help out! What volunteer opportunities are available?
Please see our Ways to support page for more information. We greatly appreciate your interest and look forward to hearing from you!
7. I have a different question that wasn’t answered.
American Occupational Therapy Association (n.d.). Home modifications. Retrieved 4 August 2019 from https://www.aota.org/Practice/Productive-Aging/Home-Mods.aspx
American Occupational Therapy Association (n.d.). Home modifications and occupational therapy. Retrieved 4 August 2019 from https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Professionals/PA/Facts/Home-Modifications.aspx
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