The Home Modification/Repair Process:
Why do we do Home Modifications?
"As the population of older adults continues to grow, home modifications are a key factor in enabling individuals to "age in place," or live in the place or home of choice. An AARP (2010) study found that more than 80% of people older than age 50 want to age in their own homes for as long as possible. Home modifications also can 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."
What are Home Modification/Home Repairs?
First of all, there is a distinct difference between a home repair versus a home modification.
Repairs fix home elements that are broken and may not necessarily improve the usability for the resident.
Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to increase usage, safety, security, and independence. The home modification process includes evaluating needs, identifying and implementing solutions, training, and evaluating outcomes that contribute to the home modification. The results of this process may be recommendations for alterations, adjustments, or additions to the home environment through the use of specialized, customized, off-the-shelf, or universally designed technologies; low- or high-tech equipment, products, hardware controls and cues, finishes, and furnishings; and other features that affect the layout and structure of the home.
Examples of home modifications would be replacing a faulty bathroom faucet with a temperature-limiting lever-handle model or replacing a loose interior or exterior handrail with a new handrail that is securely installed.
Beyond the scope of requested repairs, a trained home modification provider can provide many other simple, inexpensive improvements that adapt the resident's living space to increase usage, safety, security and independence. Securing loose floor coverings, adding a non-slip bathmat, replacing existing bulbs with brighter lamps, eliminating clutter, and removing or cover extension cords are a few examples. In addition to the benefits of these simple home modifications for the resident these same improvements serve co-occupants, family, visitors, caregivers, and home health care providers.
What is a Home Assessment?
Once an application is received and approved, a home assessment is completed by a RTFV staff member certified in home modifications. A home modification assessment is a process to evaluate the home environment for areas that might pose problems to the resident and then use that information to make recommendations to improve the resident's occupational performance. Here at Rebuilding Together Fox Valley, we follow the National Center for Healthy Housings' "Health and Safety 25 Point Checklist".