THE OT’S PERSPECTIVE
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN IT COMES TO ACCESS AT HOME AND THE PUBLIC ARENA When it comes to helping people with disabilities get around, the world has changed A LOT in the last few years.
o longer can establishments get away with not catering for people with disabilities, and the sheer breadth of options available to make homes more disability friendly has rapidly increased in a very short space of time. This month, we’re discussing stairlifts, through-floor lifts and disabled access, and for sake of clarity, I’ve split our thoughts into considerations for a “home” environment and a public environment. LET’S FIRST CONSIDER THE FACTORS WE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN HELPING CLIENTS IN A “HOME” CAPACITY As occupational therapists, we are often asked for help when it comes to the adaptations required for clients’ homes, and in order to help as best I can, I usually stick to this formula: 1. Consider the environment 2. Provide advice 3. After the client has considered the advice, provide the correct equipment When it gets slightly more complicated is if the requirements go beyond providing equipment, and relocating is not an option, adaptations will usually be needed at this point.
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And when it comes to installing a stairlift, through-floor lift or disabled access, one thing that is well worth considering is a Disabled Facilities Grant application. If adaptations are required, your customer may well be eligible for this grant, which allows for adaptations that: • Provide access to and from home • Make the home safe • Provide access to the living room • Provide access to the bedroom • Provide access to a room which has a toilet and wash hand basin • Provide access to a bath and or shower • Provide access to an area for preparation and cooking of a meal • Provide access to an area for making a hot drink • Provide access to adequate, heating, lighting and ventilation. • Provide access to a garden or make garden safe. How to decide which adaptations are necessary: Considering the above, map the entire home, starting from pavement
entrance or car park through to end of the rear garden if applicable and see what support the disabled person requires. Things for your Stuart Barrow customers to of Promoting Independence consider when applying for a grant: • There is a limit to the amount they can receive - £30,000 in England, £36,000 in Wales and £25,000 in Northern Ireland. The grant is not applicable in Scotland • The grant application will be means-tested, which means both the household income and household savings will be considered in the application process • The grant may be rejected if the work on the property has started before the council has approved the application • In order to have an application approved, the local authority must deem the work “necessary and appropriate”, “reasonable and practicable” • A grant will only be approved
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