Occupational Therapy for Housing

Occupational therapy can be valuable in addressing housing-related issues and promoting independent living for individuals who may have disabilities, injuries, or other challenges that affect their ability to manage their living environment effectively. Occupational therapists (OTs) assess an individual's functional abilities, identify barriers within the home, and provide interventions to improve safety, accessibility, and overall quality of life. 

Clinical Specialisms

Housing assessment involves evaluating the safety, accessibility, and suitability of a person's living environment. Various clinical specialisms and professionals may be involved in conducting housing assessments to ensure that the individual's housing needs are met effectively.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Occupational therapy (OT) can play a significant role in improving a person's housing situation, especially when they have disabilities, injuries, or other challenges that affect their ability to live independently and safely. OTs assess the individual's functional abilities, identify barriers within the home environment, and provide interventions to enhance their overall quality of life. Home Safety Assessment: Occupational therapists conduct comprehensive home safety assessments to identify potential hazards or areas of concern within the living environment. They assess factors such as lighting, flooring, layout, and the presence of tripping hazards.

Fall Prevention: OTs focus on fall prevention strategies within the home. They may recommend modifications such as installing grab bars in bathrooms, handrails on staircases, and non-slip flooring to reduce the risk of falls.

Accessibility Modifications: Occupational therapists evaluate the home's accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges. They can recommend and facilitate modifications such as ramps, widened doorways, and the installation of stairlifts or platform lifts to improve accessibility.

Adaptive Equipment: OTs identify the need for and recommend assistive devices and adaptive equipment to enhance the individual's independence. This may include mobility aids (e.g., walkers, wheelchairs), home automation systems, or specialized kitchen and bathroom equipment.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Training: Occupational therapists work with individuals to improve their ability to perform essential daily tasks within their home, such as dressing, grooming, bathing, cooking, and cleaning. They teach adaptive techniques and suggest assistive devices to make these activities more manageable.

Cognitive Rehabilitation: For individuals with cognitive impairments due to conditions like dementia or traumatic brain injury, OTs develop strategies to promote independence in managing daily routines and safety within the home.

Energy Conservation: OTs teach individuals energy conservation techniques to help them conserve physical and mental energy during daily tasks, allowing them to complete more activities independently.

Home Organization and Time Management: Occupational therapists can help individuals establish routines, organize their living space, and implement time management strategies to promote efficiency and independence.

Sensory Integration: OTs address sensory sensitivities and sensory processing issues that may affect an individual's comfort and function within the home environment. They may recommend sensory-friendly home modifications.

Caregiver Training: OTs provide training and education to family members or caregivers to ensure they can support the individual effectively while promoting independence and safety.

Home Transitions: When individuals need to transition to a new living arrangement, such as assisted living or independent living communities, OTs can assist with the adjustment and adaptation process.

Environmental Modifications: Occupational therapists collaborate with contractors or other specialists to make necessary home modifications, ensuring that changes are implemented safely and effectively.

What does an Occupational Therapist do ?

Occupational therapists (OTs) conduct thorough assessments of an individual's housing needs to determine how to improve their living environment and enhance their ability to live independently and safely. 

Initial Interview: 


Functional Assessment: 

Safety Assessment: 

Accessibility Evaluation: 

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessment: 

Cognitive Assessment: 

Assistive Technology Evaluation:

Social and Emotional Assessment:

Environmental Modifications: 

Customized Plan: 


Diagnoses & Conditions treated with Occupational Therapy for Housing 

Physical Disabilities such as Spinal Cord Injury or Vertebral Fractures

Neurological Conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, ALS or Guillain Barre Syndrome.

Musculoskeletal Disorders such as Scoliosis, Spinal Stenosis or Herniated Discs

Developmental Disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Global Developmental Delay 

Injuries and Trauma such as Traumatic Brain Injury