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Homes can often be modified and made more accessible with some minor structural changes and can be done without the help of a professional. You can ask your child's physical or occupational therapist for suggestions of adaptive equipment and modifications. There are sometimes inexpensive and creative solutions to improve accessibility. Other challenges require extensive renovations and the assistance of a professional remodeler or architect.
As you identify needed modifications, remember to think about your child's future needs. As a child grows, will the bathroom be large enough and will the bedroom accommodate a hospital bed? Will you need a dedicated room for therapy? Some popular examples of home modifications include:
Improper handling of a patient with a disability can injure both the patient and the caregiver:
Keeping children safe is a challenge for parents and caregivers. Fortunately, there are specially designed alarms that provide a warning when a child wanders away.
Portable baby monitors (such as those made by Fisher Price and Graco) can be worn or carried to provide extra surveillance when the caregiver leaves the room or falls asleep. Some models also have a video screen and camera. While these monitors are convenient, they are not meant to replace direct observation.
Several options are available for child identification including wristbands, shoe tags and temporary tattoos:
Take time to get recommendations and research an architect or contractor who has experience in home modifications.
A tax deduction can often be taken to reflect the cost of home modifications as a medical deduction. Home modifications must be certified by a physician as being required for health reasons. Other financial resources may be available to to help families pay for home modifications.
If your questions are not fully answered by our Special Needs Resource Directory and its links, please contact us via email.
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