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How NDIS Home Modifications Can Improve Quality Of Life For Participants?

NDIS Home Modifications: How It Can Improve Quality Of Life For Participants?

People living with disability may have to deal with lots of challenges that may create barriers for them from living their everyday life. They may need various things to enable them to live independently. For instance, a person who is blind may need a cane to aid mobility. Some people with disability may also require home modifications to help them live independently. So, how will altering a home for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants improve their quality of life?

What are home modifications?

They refer to custom-built changes to your home to help you access and use areas at home. NDIS home modifications can be minor or complex. Minor modifications are changes that do not alter the structural appearance of the house. They divide minor modifications into two categories, they include:

Category A modifications cost below $10,000, and Category B is between $10,000 to $20,000. These modifications can be minor alterations E.g. to the bathroom floor and or widening internal doorways.

There are also complex modifications which generally require modifications to multiple areas of the home. An example is combining the bathroom and toilet to have more space to use a shower chair or hoist. You require a qualified occupational therapist to certify the modification’s effectiveness. They help ensure you meet your goals and the likely future requirements during the design and completion of work.

NDIS funds allow hiring a building construction expert to work with the participant and an assessor for modifications. These professionals help with planning and recommend the scope of work. They help participants with the review, appointment, and consultation of suppliers and builders.

Where modification requires high funding or high risk NDIS may provide funding to hire a building works project manager.

When do you need home modification?

An NDIS participant may be eligible for home modifications if:

  • There are safety concerns or they are having trouble moving within home
  • They have issues with personal care, like using the shower
  • They can’t use the rooms they require
  • They have hardships reaching their goals in their home
  • They require alterations to enable caregivers to support them safely

Remember, during building work under NDIS, there are regulations that need to be adhered to. Before any modification, an assessor must visit the participant to get enough evidence.

What does a home modification assessor do?

A home modification assessor is an occupational therapist with skills to offer detailed and complex home modifications assessments.

For any participant to receive funding for home modifications, NDIS requires enough evidence. The NDIS plan funds the modification assessment and advice on home modification to be assessed.

The NDIS requires the home modifications assessors to have the following:

  • An understanding of the scope and purpose of NDIS, and how it relates to the participants goals.
  • Suitable qualifications and expertise and meeting the registration requirements as an occupational therapist
  • Completion of postgraduate education and training on assessing, specifying, and implementing complex modifications

Certifications they might require include:

  • Occupational Therapy Australia peer-reviewed education and training on Complex Home Modification
  • Associate Member or above of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA)–professional credential
  • Successful finishing of Nationally Recognised Training modules CPPACC4020 and CPPACC5016
  • Employment at Senior Clinician level responsible for Complex Home Modification assessment
  • NDIS registered providers who completed NDIA-authorised training in Complex Home Modification assessment during the first stage of the NDIS before 30 June 2016

What are the benefits of home modifications to NDIS participants?

Home modifications offer various benefits for participants. It may increase safety in their home, independence, and increased self-esteem. The alterations should help participants increase their independence and quality of life. Here are some benefits home modifications offer:

Enhanced mobility

NDIS home modifications play a significant role in helping NDIS participants achieve outcomes while reaching goals. For instance, a participant with mobility problems because of a medical condition may rely on family or carers to move around the house. The Home Modifications may reduce or eliminate the need for these additional supports.

Reduced carer proximity

COVID-19 hit, and social distancing became an aspect of life no one could do without. Increased reliance on caregivers can increase the risk of infectious disease transmission. Home modification increases independence for people with disability, which reduces the need for close contact. For some this may mean that they can live without requiring 24/7 help from a caregiver.

Reduced health costs

A home made for people without disability can be challenging to live in for people who have disability to maneuver and do daily chores. It can lead to falls that can lead to injuries, which may lead to hospital admissions and the need for increased or full time care. This also has an increase on health related costs.

Home modifications play a crucial role in the lives of people living with disability. It’s important to know that NDIS can fund Home Modifications, but an assessor will be required to provide the evidence to demonstrate the required support.

If you have any questions about NDIS plan management, please contact us at 1800 63 63 77 or email us at info@ndsp.com.au.

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