Guest Post by Nancy Dillinger
The aging in place movement has fueled a fast-growing industry—in-home support services—that are gaining popularity as a low-cost alternative to expensive assisted living programs. In-home support services offer similar services as assisted living programs including bathing, toileting, medication reminders, transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, and laundry services. They represent a less expensive way to support older adults who wish to stay in their current homes (Wick & Zanni, 2009).
Another critical factor to supporting individuals who want to age in place begins with planning to modify the living space with safety features and accessible design elements. Planning an effective home modification requires a thorough knowledge of the needs and abilities of the client. Occupational therapists understand that a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s abilities, impairments, needs, and desires is critical to designing the best solutions for that client (Heywood, 2004). Occupational therapists are carefully trained in functional assessment and the performance of daily activities. They have experience in assessing homes for hazards and making home modifications (Cumming, Thomas, Szonyi, Salkeld, O’Neill, & Frampton, 1999). The most important outcome from a home modification assessment is the affect of the modifications on the client’s participation in desired activities (Golant, 2003). [Read more…]