Complex home modifications can transform a person’s capacity to function independently and enable them to safely remain in, and move freely around, their home environment. Structural modifications tailored to an individual’s needs and capacities can markedly reduce the impact of disability and enable greater function and safety in daily living tasks. Based on a comprehensive assessment and recommendation report by a suitably qualified occupational therapist, complex modifications supported under the NDIS may include structural door-widening and reconfiguration of home layout to enhance accessibility and enable daily functioning within the home environment.

What differentiates complex home modifications from the two other categories of home modification recognised by the NDIS (simple and minor modifications) is that they involve more expensive, higher risk, structural changes requiring a higher level of certification. Unlike simple and minor modifications, which may include installation of grab rails and non-structural door-widening respectively, complex home modifications often involve modifications to several areas of the home

Complex home modifications – Assessment  

To assess each client’s personal needs and facilitate approval for, and implementation of, appropriate modifications, an occupational therapist often conducts initial assessments and follow-up consultations in a client’s home. In consultation with members of a client’s care team, they then formulate their recommendations into a comprehensive home modification report. This specifies how proposed changes would enable independent execution of specific daily living tasks and may include the prescription of assistive technology and aids. Follow-up home consultations may involve training in the safe use of aids such as hoists or modified showers.  

Support through to completion 

The realm of complex home modifications can seem overwhelming, but part of the role of a Soaring Health OT is to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family to efficiently access the home modifications that best suit your needs. If it is determined that complex home modifications are the optimal solution, after careful evaluation of alternatives, an OT will facilitate throughout the process, from submitting recommendations and following up, to liaising with a building consultant, where required, and completing relevant funding-related paperwork. They will remain part of the process until modifications are completed and sign off to confirm that modifications align with the initial recommendation and meet your needs. Part of our community division, our OTs are NDIS-registered, meaning their services are provided to NDIS participants with no out-of-pocket costs.    

Who’s eligible for complex home modifications  

Eligibility for home modifications within your NDIS plan may be determined according to multiple criteria including:  

  • The impact of your disability prevents you or your carers from reasonably accessing and using frequently used areas in your primary residence
  • In its current condition, your primary residence significantly adversely affects the sustainability of current living/care arrangements
  • Home modifications have been recommended by a suitably qualified occupational therapist, based on an assessment and consideration or all possible alternatives (e.g. use of equipment)
  • Any proposed building work under the scheme adheres to all relevant laws and regulations
How complex home modifications can help  
  • Enhance or enable accessibility to home environments (e.g layout changes or widening doorways)
  • Enable greater safety and independence
  • Enable optimal integration of assistive technology and devices
  • Enable functional, safe use of spaces (e.g. kitchen) by reconfiguring benches and cupboards

Examples of complex home modifications  

  • Bathroom modification
  • Kitchen modification
  • Bed room modification