According to the American Institute of Architects, universal design trends are rising in the home remodeling and building industry. Therapists who have a passion for working within environmental modifications can benefit from this finding by offering consulting services to consumers and the building and design industry. This course will detail how one occupational therapist worked from start to finish on a remodeling project for aging in place, enhanced with images and animations so you can see the steps taken for their patient.
Carolyn has fifteen years of experience as a clinical, educational and community-based occupational therapist with award winning practices. She is specially certified in the area of environmental modifications (SCEM) by the American Occupational Therapy Association and is nationally certified as an Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) by the National Association of Homebuilders. Carolyn has been awarded “CAPS Designee of the Year” for her role in advocacy and leadership. She has spear headed aging in place initiatives and home modification programming for local, state and national organizations that support healthy environments for the aging community. She has served the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Orlando Senior Resource Alliance, AARP, National Rebuilding Together, Home Depot and the American Occupational Therapy Association, with her expertise in the home modification area. Carolyn is the Founder & Chief Health Officer of Home for Life Design®, where she helps healthcare and aging in place service providers meet the needs of homeowners through technology and evidence-based practices, specifically in the area of home assessment.
This chapter introduces the home and the homeowner, and sets the stage for the remodeling process. Guided by Universal Design and using the Person-Environment-Approach, the therapist will walk through the home and indicate areas that may need changes to encourage aging in place for the homeowner.
Once the walk through is complete, assessing the needs of the homeowner is essential to initiate the design and quantify findings. What functional outcomes are desired and how can we ensure the built environment supports that outcome? Through collaboration of the design-build team, the clinician will learn the steps to implementation for all recommendations.
This chapter presents “after” pictures, showcasing universal design and person-centered features that make this home safe and accessible for aging in place. Clinicians will see the benefits of post assessment to prove the effectiveness of the occupational therapist’s role in designing for aging in place.