Edited by Margaret Christenson, MPH, OTR/L , FAOTA, and Carla Chase, EdD, OTR/L, CAPS
Earn 1.9 AOTA CEUs (24 NBCOT PDUs/19 contact hours)
Participation in meaningful activities in the home and community contributes to health, wellness, and good quality of life. One way that occupational therapy supports that participation is by advocating for increased accessibility through universal design and environmental modification. Occupational therapy professionals fill a unique role in environmental modification—through evaluation, intervention, and outcomes measurement—by facilitating the creation of a safe, accessible home that allows people to do what is important and relevant to them.
Although these lessons were created for occupational therapy professionals new to home modification, those who have been practicing in this area will learn about the latest assessment tools and new assistive technology. Therapists who work with adults and those who work with children will find helpful guidelines and suggestions.
At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:
- Delineate the home modification process as it relates to the occupational therapy process and the client's ability to participate in life through the engagement in occupation as addressed in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process.
- Differentiate the roles and contributions of the occupational therapist in the home modification process from referral to completion of the job while maintaining a client-centered and occupation-based focus.
- Identify similarities and differences in the home modification process as it relates to all age groups in need of modifications.
- Recognize the impact that the prognosis and precautions related to an illness, injury, or disease process has on the recommendation and implementation process.
- Recognize how to modify the home modification process as it relates to the regulations of the various funding sources while maintaining a client-centered approach.
Margaret Christenson, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, is president of Lifease, Inc., a developer of software that helps people find solutions to challenges in living independently in their chosen home setting. Solutions are available in the BuildEase software and through an online questionnaire, LivAbility. (A simplified version of the questionnaire for consumers that will focus on fall prevention will be available in early 2011.) Christenson has also developed PresentEase, a visual library that includes more than 600 illustrations of environmental problems and solutions for age-related changes and the incorporation of universal design. She consults with architects, interior designers, businesses, and home owners and has written two books and many articles on universal design, assistive technology, and adaptations of the living environment. As a seminar leader, she has spoken to hundreds of groups on those topics. Christenson was the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association Occupational Therapist of the Year in 1989. She has chaired both the Gerontology Special Interest Section of AOTA and the Environmental Modification Specialty Certification.
Carla A. Chase, EdD, OTR/L, CAPS, is an associate professor in the Occupational Therapy department at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Her work centers on the needs of older adults who want to remain in their home by researching the impact of environmental modifications to support participation and promote safety. Recently, her research has focused on studying the meaning of home. She has practiced occupational therapy for almost 20 years in a variety of settings that include rehabilitation and home health. As an entrepreneur, she consulted with builders and remodelers to meet the home accessibility needs of people with various diagnoses and injuries. She has been a representative for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in a collaborative project with the National Association of Home Builders and AARP to provide educational sessions around the country. She is also on the board of directors for Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit group that provides home repairs and modifications for people in need.