Homes are often designed for one phase of life. We don’t usually think of changing needs and changing ability. Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd. advise people to follow universal design for all building. We advise that all older people should complete an MOT of their home to ensure it meets their needs as they grow older.

Housing grants are provided to people who own their own home, or are tenants of a local authority or rent privately. They help older people with difficulties of people with disabilities to continue to live in their own homes.

Please contact your local authority to find out which grant is best for your needs.

Yes, all grants for home modifications are means tested. Please contact your local authority for information on where you live.

All grants are for ESSENTIAL works. This may include removal of a bath and installation of a shower. The grant does not cover desirable works, for example, I’d like to complete modifications upstairs now and in two years’ time downstairs.

No, you can rent the house from the local authority or from a private landlord. You have to have permission from the landlord.

No, you can fund your own modifications. If you are not availing of a grant you can complete modifications that you desire as well as those that are essential. The OT will provide advice and guidance on what will suit your needs in adherence with Universal Design Guidelines, specialist advice in housing modifications for people with disabilities such as autism and muscular dystrophy. Advice usually goes beyond the minimum outlined in Technical Guidance Document M.

The application process can be slow. After you apply, you may be referred to an occupational therapist. An engineer may call to your home, and you need to organise quotes if you own your own home. The time frame to completing the works varies from each local authority and is dependent on whether it is an easier task such as a stairlift or a more complex modification such as an extension. It is best to contact your local authority for specific details.

The OT will contact you by phone. Your assessment may take place partially on phone or by zoom. You or a family member may be asked to send on some photos of your house. If the assessment is mostly by phone, then a short follow up visit will be completed (COVID guidelines apply). The OT will need to meet the person with the disability and their carer/advocate or family member. A detailed report will be completed after the assessment. The OT may need to contact your doctor and any other people who assist with your health.

You will be given a copy of your report and a copy will be sent to the local authority. Other health care professionals will be provided with a copy with your permission.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd will endeavour to see you as soon as possible. We will provide you with your report within 5 working days of your assessment.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd employs OT with experience and training in this area of practice. If completing a home modification assessment under the terms of a grant application we must adhere to the grant guidelines. If you do not agree with the recommendations, you can appeal this to the local authority. We would advise discussing this with the assessing OT or a senior member of staff.

If you are not availing of a grant, there is more flexibility in the options open to each person. You may still disagree. You will be contracted to pay for the service but do not have to follow the advice.

All our advice will comply with health and safety of the person, their carer/family/advocate.

Cork Occupational Therapy Services Ltd is a private company and charge directly for our services. Some services are tendered to local authorities, and they will cover the costs. We provide pro-bono services to The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

If you are completing your home modifications under a grant, only essential works are funded. If you are self-funding, the OT may advise that a stairlift will meet your needs but you can express your desire for an extension and the OT will advise on the design of this with your builder/architect.