I use a comprehensive tool to perform the home safety evaluation that incorporates such items as: your needs and goals, how well you can accomplish your activities of daily living (based on the current configuration of your home), safety, fall prevention, accessibility (including assistive devices, such as wheelchairs), balance and more. I also perform an in-home occupational performance evaluation (also known as a functional assessment).
One of the benefits of working with an Occupational Therapist is that I have the training and experience to understand how you interact with the features of your home. I also have the education and experience to assess the nuances of how your body interacts with those features or other products in your home. This allows me to be very specific about how you can modify your home to make it better for your life.
As we go through this process together, my goals will be to educate you about aging in place strategies and to show you how the changes that I suggest will empower you, make your daily tasks easier, and reduce the chances of you having a fall in your home.
A big part of home assessments is focused on fall prevention. The outcome of the falls assessment will be more than just a recommendation to place grab bars in the bathroom. I will recommend a number of changes that might also include removing tripping hazards, to changing the entrance to your home, or even modifying pathways to prevent falls.
The truth is that as we age (regardless of our abilities or conditions), a person’s capabilities change. These gradual changes can be amplified by physical or health-related conditions. My job is to help you prepare for that and reduce your chances of injuring yourself at home.
With any home remodeling project, it is important to have knowledgeable professionals working with you from the beginning (when you’re deciding what you should do) through the completion of the project. This can help ensure you not only get a good value (quality for your investment), but also will increase the chances you get exactly what you need.
It is important to note that any remodeling or home modifications should always be adapted to your specific needs or requirements. When done properly, a home assessment can be used to include features or products that can make your house easier to live in, reduce accidents and make your home life more enjoyable.
Home assessments: Now vs. later
No one really wants to think about their needs or abilities changing. However, if you don’t want these changes to affect your quality of life, planning early is ideal.
Many times, clients have contacted me after they’ve fallen at home or had some other accident. By having a home evaluation earlier rather than later, it can save you money, time and heartache.
Preventing falls reduces the money you spend on recovering. Or, worse, the impact it can have on your life if you can’t return home after a fall.
As an Occupational Therapist, I have been trained to evaluate you, your personal abilities, your home environment, and how each of those allows or prevents you from doing what you need and want to do in your daily life.
My medical background allows me to understand how physical or health conditions (as well as age) contribute to your abilities both now and in the future. (Learn more about my training and experience as an Occupational Therapist.)
By personally observing how a person goes about his or her daily life, I can provide suggestions that the average person would not be aware of. Thus, the home assessments I do are custom-tailored to you.
My goal is to help you keep living the life you want in the comfort of your own home.
Occupational Therapist, Aging Life Care Manager, Aging in Place Specialist
Terri Lemere, M.S., OTR/L, CAPS and Aging Life Care Manager has been a practicing Occupational Therapist (OT) for 26 years.