Frequently Asked Questions
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a person-centered, rehabilitation profession that focuses on the assessment, treatment and recovery of daily living skills that may be impacted following a physical, mental or cognitive disorder. OTs have training in anatomy, neurology, development and psychology as well as how the environment impacts individuals performance of their preferred activities.
Occupational Therapists focus on adapting the environment to eliminate barriers to independence during daily activities. Daily activities include the areas of self-care, home-making, work and leisure.
Occupational Therapists are the only professionals recognized by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to make recommendations for home modifications for persons with disabilities.
Why should I modify my home?
There are many benefits of modifying your own home so that you can remain in a familiar environment as you age. Familiarity helps with memory changes and assists with adjusting to any physical or visual changes that may occur as you age. Home modifications promote safety and independence as well as visitability by others who may have accessibility needs to visit you in your own home.
In addition, according to AARP, the cost of:
- Private duty home health aides averages $21.00/hour
- Assisted living facilities average $3,250/mo or $39,000/year
- Nursing homes (semi-private rooms) average $249/day or $90,703/year
- Nursing homes (private rooms) average $272/day or $99,098/year.
While the cost of home modifications vary based upon the home and the needs, the average cost is less than a year’s stay in an assisted living facility and significantly less than a year’s stay in a nursing home. Some home modifications may be little to no cost at all to the consumer.
What is CAPS?
CAPS is the acronym for an Certified Aging In Place Specialist. The CAPS designation is earned training and testing provided by National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. A CAPS professional can:
- recommend changes that will help an individual live independently in his or her home,
- Work with an OT to develop a home modification plan based on safety and individual functional needs
- Collaborate with other professionals to build or design strategies for barrier free living
- Provide information about useful products, resources to create safe, functional and beautiful home modifications
Does insurance cover the cost of home modifications?
In most cases home modifications are not covered by medical insurance. In certain situations there may be limited grant funding through the VA or the state. In some cases worker’s compensation or auto insurance will pay for modifications as part of a settlement. Often times the needed modifications may be minor and are affordable without extra assistance. For larger home modifications, many individuals will utilize a line of credit based on the equity in their home. We may be able to provide you with local resources dependent on your need and situation.
Will modifications to my home affect my home’s value?
As the nation’s population average age increases, modifications to one’s home will tend to enhance the value of one’s home. Modifications to the physical environment optimize safety and enhance both visitability and livability in the home. According to the National Home Builder’s Association (NAHB), modifications will help make your home “market-ready” for a broad, fast growing segment. Your home will seem more “friendly” and comfortable to potential buyers.
Is a permit required to modify my home?
A building professional will work with the OT CAPS professional to determine if the adaptations or modifications needed for your home require a building permit. Some minor modifications do not require permits, while other changes to your home may require a building permit.
How does this work? Where do we start?
Contact us at CapABLE Living, LLC where we will schedule a time to come to your home, discuss your concerns and evaluate your needs.
- We can provide modification/design recommendations to make caring for yourself or a loved one easier.
- We can help you plan for your future as you choose to remain in your home.
- We provide professional expertise in navigating the maze of products and designs that are available to make your life easier.
- We are a one-stop shop and can manage the construction needs of your project.
What are the top reasons to consider home modifications?
A properly adapted home will PREVENT FALLS and INCREASE HOME SAFETY.
- According to the CDC:1 out of 3 people over the age of 65 fall each year.1 out of 5 falls result in serious injury.More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.
- Home modifications to accommodate changing abilities will allow you to STAY AT HOME LONGER.
- Home modifications done properly with an OT and CAPS professional will identify SOLUTIONS FOR CURRENT & FUTURE NEEDS for you or a family member with different abilities.
- Home modifications make your home FUNCTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS and more VISITABLE by other family members
- Modifying your home for changing needs will SAVE YOU MONEY. Typical costs for care out of your home can range from $20,000-$95,000/ year. A comprehensive home remodel will cost far less and allow you to remain in your home for several additional years
Who needs our services?
CapABLE Living, LLC serves all individuals with varying abilities and their families. We assist individuals who:
- Are planning ahead for their future needs so they can stay in their home.
- Have progressive or chronic conditions that require special modifications, such as ALS, MS, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, COPD, Developmental Disability to name a few.
- Have had a traumatic event occur requiring urgent modifications, such as Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and other accidents.
What types of home modifications are most common?
Typical areas of the home that require attention include
- Bedroom area
The extent of the modifications will depend on the functional changes that need to be accommodated including but not limited to: challenges with balance, mobility, hearing/ visual changes or thinking skills changes. Additionally, an Occupational Therapist can skillfully assess barriers that interfere with individual routines and habits/ preferences and offer barrier free solutions to achieve personal goals in the home.
How are you different than a remodeler or home builder?
As Occupational Therapists we are specialized in looking at your balance, mobility, hearing/ visual changes or thinking skills as well as your desired activities, habits and routines. Once these factors are considered an OT can help you modify/adapt your environment to match you and your caregivers. A remodeler/home builder may be educated in Universal Design or ADA modifications in general while an Occupational Therapist will provide design recommendations that are for you specifically.
Do you work with builders and remodelers? Will I need find my own contractors to implement the recommendations?
CapABLE Living, LLC works with builders and remodelers to implement the construction aspects of our recommendations. We work closely with our builders and remodelers to ensure the proper equipment is ordered and installed. However, you may work with your builder if that is your preference. We can provide written recommendations to you to give to your builder.
If my home needs modifications in more than one area, will I have to have all areas modified at once?
CapABLE Living, LLC will work with each individual to help prioritize and meet your needs based upon your living environment and circumstances. Every individual and home will have it’s own unique circumstances for which we will utilize our skills and expertise to provide you with options, as well as our recommendations for optimizing your safety and independence.
Where would I purchase any products you might recommend and will insurance cover the cost of these products?
CapABLE Living, LLC will work with you to provide options for obtaining products and equipment that we recommend. We have options for purchasing your products through our website; however, you may use a vendor of your choice and we will share other options with you as well based upon what products are recommended for you. Most insurances do not cover the cost of products or medical equipment for the home. If your situation involves worker’s compensation or auto insurance, products or equipment may be covered as part of a settlement, depending upon the circumstances.