What are home modifications?

Home modifications are changes to the structure, layout or fittings in order to make performing tasks easier. It aims to enhance mobility, safety and access, reduce accidents, and support independent living.

Common home modifications include:

  • Removal of hazards (ie clutter, throw rugs, floor mats)
  • Relocation of power points or light switches to improve access
  • Grab rails to showers, toilets or home entries
  • Prescription and design of landings, platform steps and access ramps according to Australian standards
  • Bathroom modifications such as roll-in showers and other access measures
  • Modifications to the kitchen to improve access
  • Widening of doorways and automatic doors
  • Installation of a ceiling hoist to assist person transfers
  • Stair lifts
  • Environmental control systems

Our Occupational Therapists have completed many major/complex home modifications which have included the removal of walls in the bathroom/toilet to increase circulation space and removal of baths to create a level access shower with appropriate drainage and floor gradient; widening of internal and external doors; modifying external access to provide improved access within the confines of existing structures, and considering the most logical and suitable access point to the home.

We have also redesigned many wheelchair accessible kitchens, bathrooms and toilets following the demolition of existing spaces, to provide safe and accessible environments. And, having worked with a number of quadriplegic clients, we have prescribed automated door openers and Environmental Control Units (ECUs) that can be operated via a wheelchair switch or sophisticated eye gaze and scanning technology.

For more than 20 years, we have successfully completed home modifications to the required Australian standards for a wide variety of clients and funding bodies including the Motor Accident Commission, Transport Accident Commission, Allianz, Return to Work SA, Public and Private Trustee, Disability SA, Lifetime Support Authority, Territory Insurance Office, Julia Farr Housing, Housing SA, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, private clients and NDIS participants.

Some further information about Home modifications

Your NDIS plan

Home modifications may be included in your NDIS plan if:

  • due to the impact of your disability, you or your carers cannot reasonably access and use frequently used rooms and spaces in your primary residence;
  • your primary residence, in its current condition, has significant and adverse impacts on the sustainability of current living and care arrangements; and
  • a suitably qualified Occupational Therapist has performed an assessment and recommended home modifications, considering all possible alternatives, including the use of equipment.

The NDIS funds a diverse range of home modifications to assist participants to achieve the goals in their plan. Home modifications vary for each participant, and are classified according to level of risk, extent of construction (non- structural or structural), cost and complexity.

There are three broad categories of NDIS home modifications and these are listed below:

Simple home adaptions
Simple home adaptions are low cost, such as grab rails or mounted shower chairs, and are generally easy for participants to access.
Minor home modifications
Minor home modifications are non-structural, but require an experienced Occupational Therapist to identify and deliver the right solution. The scope of work and associated costs are relatively low, for example, non-structural door widening.
Complex home modifications
Complex home modifications (CHM) involve structural changes, are relatively higher cost, higher risk and require a greater level of certification. CHM typically have a greater impact on participants’ lives, and may involve work on a combination of different areas within the home, such as bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or access to the home.
Who is qualified to assess for and prescribe complex home modifications?

The NDIA released guidance on the characteristics that an assessor of CHM supports should demonstrate:

  • Professional qualifications and meet the registration requirements as an Occupational Therapist.
  • A good understanding of the scope and purpose of the NDIS, particularly as it relates to the goals and use of
    supports in a participant’s plan to help them to lead an ordinary life.
  • At least one of:
    • Professional Credential: Associate Member or above of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA)

    • Successful completion of Nationally Recognised Training modules CPPACC4020A and CPPACC5016A

    • Employment at Senior Clinician level specifically responsible for CHM assessment

    • NDIS registered providers who successfully completed NDIA-authorised training in, and were selected through an Expression of Interest process for, CHM assessment during the trial phase of the NDIS prior to 30 June 2016.

At Living to the Max Occupational Therapy, we have extensive experience in the assessment for and prescription of complex home modifications. As a result, we were one of a very small number of providers nationally, who were registered on the inaugural NDIS national provider panel authorised by the NDIA to prescribe complex home modifications. This could only been achieved through extensive experience, demonstrated through the submission of de-identified case studies of prior work.

Our Services

Assistive Technology/Aids

Whether it's for mobility, safety, communication or participation, be sure to get the right advice.

Home Modifications

From grab rails to major renovations to new builds, we have the expertise to ensure it's done right.

Supported Accommodation Assessments

We can determine your support & accommodation needs, including Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) needs.

Wheelchair seating & postural assessments

SA's leading expert in posture management & seating for those with complex disabilities & spinal injuries.

Manual person transfer assessments & plans

To ensure the safety of carers when lifting or transferring persons.

Pressure care management

We can help with the prevention & management of pressure ulcers.

Hospital Discharge Planning

In the transition from hospital to home, we can ensure the appropriate supports are in place.

Neurological Rehabilitation & Therapy

A wide range of upper limb treatments in-home, in-clinic or virtually via video conference.


We specialise in manual handling, carer training & disability access for businesses & commercial settings

Functional Capacity Assessments

We can assess your ability to function from day to day & prepare a plan to maximise your independence.

Therapy Clinic

A full range of assessment & therapy services are available in-clinic. Hoist transfers available.

Mental Health, Autism & Sensory Processing

We understand the challenges as they relate to mental illness, autism and sensory processing, and we’re here to help.

Enquire Today

You choose. In-home, In-clinic or Virtual Appointments Available.

Or call (08) 8331 0566