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THE (HOME) MODS SQUAD! August 2013

Volume 3, Issue 2

OT Newsleer by SCOPE Access Another edi on of the Home Modifica on Newsleer for OTs—developed as a resource for OTs across South-Eastern NSW. “The (Home) Mod Squad” has been put together to provide prac cal support and informa onsharing about home modifica ons and SCOPE Access service provision.

SCOPE Access Contacts Head Office and Informa*on Display Centre (Dapto) - Ph: 02 4262 4900 or 1300 765 887 Fax: 4260 9494 Email: • • • • • • • • • •

• • •

Anne Reeve - CEO Rosie DeFranceschi, Athena Kinnas , Ryan GriffinRecep on /Administra on Vicki Agathopolous - Intake Officer Lyn Ridley - Client Services Manager - Illawarra Annee Hanly - OT Divisional Manager (0458 353 987) Kate Kirkness - OT (0423 560 277) Maria Beukers - OT (0401 767 987) Mon - Thurs Jess Hanly - OT Assistant Peter Duncan - Builder Divisional Manager Garry Edwards, Jason Willingham, Jus*n Van Dyk, Keith Bedford, Paul Warner, Steve Valery, Terry Coleman, & Wayne Griffin - Builders. David Steele, Joel Steele - Yard & Gardens Toni Lachlan - Corporate Services Manager Alex Reeve, Robyn Bates - Finance/Administra on Milton Office & Rural Builder/OT Service (ROBOT) Ph: 02 4454 5739 or 1300 765 887 Fax: 02 4454 5742 Email:

• • • • •


Catherine Wade - Manager, Rural Services Rebekah Shepherd - Administra ve Officer Ros Barlow - OT (0434 359 834) Lindsey Eames - OT (0422 816 778) Mon - Thurs Adrian Riepsamen, Curwen Marsh, Kevin Croker, Mahew Duncan, Mar*n Kennedy , & Bill Cooper - Builders

Please let us know if there is a topic that you feel is worthwhile sharing and we will work towards publishing it in the next issue of The (Home) Mod Squad.


‘A Way To Stay’ Home Modifica on Planning and Assessment Tool Page 2

Helpful facts: Doors

Page 3

Door handles: Different types and features Pages 4/5 Thermosta c mixing valves VS Tempering valves Pages 6/7

QUOTE OF THE DAY ‘Nothing will ever be a"empted if all possible objec(ons must be first overcome’ – Samuel Johnson

‘A Way To Stay’ Home Modification Planning and Assessment Tool AGer 28 years of providing home modifica ons, SCOPE Access wanted to create a simple, easy to use tool that:

The Prac cal Design Fund was a grants program that was set up by the Australian Government to support ini a ves and resources that would iden fy prac cal ways to prepare a person with a disability, their family / carers, the disability sector and workforce, for the transi on to a Na onal Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

SCOPE Access were fortunate enough to receive funding from the Prac cal Design Fund to create an innova ve home modifica on planning guide that will help people with a disability to start thinking about and mapping out their accommoda on needs.

‘A Way to Stay’ can be used by people with a disability, their care-givers, Occupa onal Therapists and Builders separately or as a team, to plan the cost and lifestyle impact of home modifica ons.

Most people are familiar with home modifica ons as a reac on to a par cular incident; possibly discharge from hospital, maybe the result of a fall/accident or a sudden decline in health. Many people find it challenging to think about the future in their current accommoda on especially if they are under stress and need to make decisions quickly. For parents of young children with a disability, it can be a par cularly confron ng and confusing me.


helps people look at their lifestyle and home environment holis cally, and assess for current and future needs

helps people to consider the financial and budgetary implica ons of future home modifica ons

triggers thoughts and conversa ons about safety and manual handling for people with disabili es and their carers

helps people to realize that home modifica on is not just about crea ng a ‘care-base’ – it’s about their home, with all the relevant emo ons aached.

We wanted to create something that was a prac cal audit to start conversa ons and thoughts with regard to a person’s home environment. ‘A Way to Stay’ will help a person to feel more empowered and beer equipped to decide whether there is in fact ‘a way to stay’ or whether it would be beer to move.

‘A Way to Stay’ was presented at the DisabilityCare Australia Conference held in Melbourne in June 2013. Feedback was overwhelmingly posi ve and confirmed that we had created a simple tool not only suited for people with a disability to use but equally so for older people or those planning new builds.

Helpful facts: Doors OGen when we are considering changes to doorways we are only thinking about the width of the door and the way it swings. There is so much more to doors that could and some mes should be considered. Different Hinges; Bu Hinges - are the standard type of hinge seen. Parliament hinges - allow the door to swing completely open (opens a complete 180˚) LiG off hinges – allow the door to be liGed off and removed without the need for major tools. Stop or rebate - Part of the door jam that prevents the door from “over closing” or pushing through the doorframe. Jamb - this is the mber frame inside the door opening. There is an upper jamb and side jambs. Architrave or casing – this is the framing that surrounds the

To ensure safe and independent use of a door for a client or others who may use the door, it is important to consider the following: Door handles and other door hardware may need to be managed with one hand and / or with reduced hand

func on. Lever handles enable ease of grip and benefit from the assistance of gravity to operate, whereas knobs require fine finger control and good grip. •

The structural prac cality of changing exis ng handles (it is always a good idea to check with the builder).

Ease of opera on of the handle for the individual. What works for one person does not necessarily work for the next person, even if their diagnosis or func onal limita ons are similar. If possible try the client with different types of handles.

The client’s hand strength (full strength/reduced/one hand only)

The comfort of the grip

Height of the door handle – it is important to consider the func on of the client when determining the height of the handle as well as the func on of the handle.

The orienta on of the handle and for ease of use for the client

The impact that the handle type may have on the clear opening of the doorway (for example “D” handles)


Door Handles: Different types & features

Door handle basics Striker Plate— only on locking doors as this is where the latch locks onto.

Face plate— metal covering on the front of the lock.

Latch— the door fastener.

LiG up pull tab— used to open a sliding door when it has completely slid into its cavity.

Snib or “turn buon” — manually operated catch controlling the lock.

Flush pull handle with pull tab and no lock feature

Slides into cavity space op mising clear opening

Client must have sufficient fine motor control to be able to liG /pull the pull tab

Crescent sliding door lock with turn buon /latch, finger pull and key lock feature Finger pull

Turn buon/latch (on both sides)


Key lock feature (on both sides)

Different types of door handles continued… Flush pull handle with turn buon, pull tab and lock feature Client must have sufficient fine motor control to be able to liG /pull the pull tab

Lock feature

Emergency release system (can be unlocked from the outside with a coin)

“D” handle cavity sliding door with lockable privacy seRng Turning lever

NOTE: “D” handle impacts on achievable clear opening

“D” shaped lever handle on a hinged door “D” shaped lever handle will prevent a hand sliding off when the handle is facing downward


Thermostatic mixing valves Vs Tempering valves

Tradie’s Tips! Provided by our experienced team of Builders, Carpenters, Horticulturalist, Landscape Designer, and Jacks of all trades

Tempering Valves PRO’S; •

Less expensive to purchase and install

Suitable for most homes – commonly fied when undertaking a bathroom modifica on to a household seRng

Can be installed to regulate hot water in one room only (e.g. bathroom)

Small in size (not space consuming) therefore easier to find loca ons to install

Can install at hot water tank outlet

Storage tank temperature is required to be stored at a minimum of 60°C to prevent growth of Legionella bacteria

Does not have to be serviced by a plumber therefore cheaper maintenance costs

Temperature limits are required to minimise the risk of burns/injuries from scalding

Maintains a constant hot-water temperature

There are different types of tempering valves for different hot water heaters;

Thermosta c Mixing Valves PRO’S; •

Regulates the hot water over all outlets within the home

Maintains a constant hot-water temperature

Temperature limits are required to minimise the risk of burns / injuries from scalding

Always installed in age care facili es, nursing homes, child care centres, schools and hospitals

More reliable / longer service life

Has a failsafe in the cartridge meaning if the unit fails in any way the system automa cally shuts off any hot water

Designed to increase the amount of usable hot water, as stored water is kept at a raised temperature so it requires less hot water to mix with the cold

Can have lockable hand wheels/retaining screws for accurate temperature control and/or to prevent accidental tampering

Storage tank temperature is required to be stored at a minimum of 60°C to prevent growth of Legionella bacteria

If Teflon coated it resists mineral deposit build-up and extends service life/reduces call backs

Blue: (most common) electric heaters Green: most types of gas hot water systems Orange: solar/heat pump hot water systems Black: large capacity and low pressure gravity feed systems.

CON’S; •

Not as reliable as thermosta c mixing valves

Shorter service life


Doesn’t require ongoing maintenance however is recommended to be replaced every 5 or so years

Bulky in size therefore space consuming

Can freeze up in cold ambient temperatures therefore it needs to be installed away from frost sites and with insula on jackets

Must be installed in an accessible area (not always possible when there is limited space)

More expensive to purchase and install

Rou ne maintenance and performance tes ng is costly as they must be serviced by a licensed plumber annually


Lowered water temperatures in the pipes between the storage tank and taps provide the opportunity for Legionella bacteria growth (ultraviolet water disinfec on systems can be installed to counter this)

Thermostatic mixing valves Vs. Tempering valves continued…

Tradie’s Tips! Provided by our experienced team of Builders, Carpenters, Horticulturalist, Landscape Designer, and Jacks of all trades

Tempering Valves Thermosta c Mixing Valves

All bathroom modifica ons must include the provision of a tempering valve or similar in accordance with AS3500 to ensure preven on of scalding.

Common risks associated with changes in water temperatures ♦ ♦

Legionella Bacteria—can cause Legionnaire’s Disease. It thrives in warm environments (between 24-40°C) therefore water storage systems must be

Scalding – People with tender skin or slow reac on mes are par cularly vulnerable.

Thermal Shock – Slips / falls in showers can occur in reac on to the sudden water temperature changes.

Brochures in various languages, locate your nearest HMMS, fact sheets, informa on for clients, photo gallery and more available at hp://

For home modifica ons specific resources, events and training updates visit the Home Modifica on Informa on Clearinghouse at hp://


Aug 2013 newsletter  

A support publication for OTs and Builders involved in the Home Modification & Maintenance industry, serving aged care and disability client...

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