Housing Adaptation Grant – How we help

Irish County Council or Corporation grants assist with necessary adaptation works to allow you to remain living in your home. They are based on an Occupational Therapist Assessment as well as means test.

What is the Housing Adaptation Grant?

If you have a disability, or reduced mobility you may be eligible for a grant to adapt your home from your local council. This grant covers access ramps, stairlifts, downstairs toilets, accessible bathrooms, extensions and more.

The grants amount can vary from council to council, but can go up to 90% of the cost of works.  You may also be eligible to get a refund of all or some of your Occupational Therapist Assessment should your grant be approved.

Specifics can vary from local council to local council, and we have put a link to each county council’s own Housing Adaptation Grant pages at the end of this article.

Some houses may not have been built with accessibility in mind.

In general however, you qualify for this scheme if you live in any of the following:

  • A home that you own.
  • A house that you are buying from your local council under the Tenant Purchase Scheme.
  • A private rented house, flat or apartment.
  • Home provided to you under a voluntary housing Capital Assistance and Rental Subsidy scheme.
  • A home in a communal residence.

What is the benefit to adapting your home?

Adapting your home may become necessary as you grow older. You may also need to adapt your home if you or a family member has a disability.

Even if you are approaching retirement and are currently fit and well, if you are planning on staying in your home well into your old age, you could benefit from an OT Assessment at least.

If you are not planning on downsizing your house, any changes, extensions or upgrading to your property in the coming years should ideally be done after you have had an OT Assessment. This will provide you with some general guidelines on what to, and more importantly what not to do with any future building works.

Even if you are thinking of moving home, either buying an existing house, or a new build, it can save you worry, time and money down the line by planning ahead.

Bathrooms are usually an area which need adaptation.

What sort of adaptations are usual?

One of the benefits of obtaining an assessment for an adaptation is that it is tailored to your requirements, and to the building itself. In general, however adaptations can range from widening doorways and passageways, to moving light switches or door handles to installing grab rails for support. Often if there is a second floor, a stairlift may be recommended, or re-purposing a downstairs room to act as a bedroom.

 

Often the bathroom and kitchen, along with entry and access points to the house are the main focus.  Depending on the situation of the individual, a room may be required to have additional specialised equipment installed such as hoists etc., as well as linking to monitoring systems for emergency or homecare services.

An OT Assessment can make sure your housing adaptation measures up.

What does the OT Housing Assessment typically do?

In a nutshell, the Occupational Therapist will assess your daily living needs and advise on adaptations to your home.

Specifically, the assessment visit will review:

  • Full assessment of the house for safety for the individual(s).
  • Any adaptations that may need to happen to increase safety.
  • Any adaptations that may need to allow more independent living.
  • Make recommendations for equipment. Stairlifts, Rails, ramps etc.
  • Provide advice on safety in the home to prevent falls etc.

 

Although not part of the Grant process, it is sometimes advisable to have the OT visit after works have been carried out so they can assist you any teething issues with the equipment or new layouts if needed.

How do I go about Obtaining the Housing Grant?

The procedures to obtain the housing grant are subject to change and dependent on financial budgets at the time from council to council.
Therefore, it is always recommended to contact your council directly to enquire about the current grant process, the grant criteria and waiting times for the processing of the grant.

Be aware that the council grants cover essential adaptations. Any extras are subject to full payment by you.

We would suggest the following steps.

  1. Check your local council’s requirements (below).

Some councils require your GPs stamp, and other tax or financial information, so please make sure that you start getting the documents.

  1. Get an Occupational Therapist to assess your house in time.
  • Timing is the key in all situations. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time, money and worry.
    In the case of a growing child who lives at home whose needs will change as they get older – don’t wait until they need the extra space.
  • If there is an accident or injury to a family member that will require longer term home adjustments, don’t wait until the week before they return home.
    Often there can be long periods of recuperation outside the home involved in recovery. Use the teams and resources there early on to help get your home prepared.
  1. Once you have the assessment report, obtain quotations from providers / builders to cost the work. Most of the grant applications require at least two, if you can get three or more, even better.  Make sure the provider you are contacting for quotations are registered. If you have a question, please follow up directly with the council. You can also ask the OT, or the supplier of the adaptations such as stairlifts or ramps for a recommendation of a registered builder.

Useful Information & Links

 

The Irish Citizens Information Centre has a great overview on Housing Adaptation on it’s site here:

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/housing_adaptation_grant_for_people_with_disability.html

 

Below are the main council direct links to Housing Adaptation Grants for Dublin and surrounds.

 

Dublin City

http://www.dublincity.ie/housing-and-community-i-own-my-home-section/grants-homeowners

 

South Dublin County Council

http://www.sdcc.ie/services/housing/housing-grants

 

Fingal County Council

http://www.fingalcoco.ie/housing/social-housing/housing-grants/

 

Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council

http://www.dlrcoco.ie/en/housing/housing-grants/housing-adaptation-grants

 

Kildare County Council

http://kildare.ie/countycouncil/housing/Grants/index.html

 

Wicklow County Council

http://www.wicklow.ie/grants-2017

 

 

 

If you want to look at the types of adaptations and equipment available please check out the suppliers below.

 

Cooley Healthcare

http://cooleyhealthcare.ie/

 

Irish Stairlifts

http://www.irishstairlifts.ie

 

Also, Assist Ireland has compiled a one page of all the providers of Lifts and Stairlifts. (Many of these offer additional home living aids also)

http://www.assistireland.ie/eng/Information/Information_Sheets/Suppliers_of_Lifts_and_Stairlifts.html

Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy helps people to do the everyday things that they want to do and need to do when faced with illness, injury, disability or challenging life events. (AOTI). Each individual’s needs are unique, so the Occupational Therapist will tailor-make a comprehensive treatment program to meet individual needs.

OTServices


We provide the following services:

  • Occupational therapy assessment and scoring
  • Occupational therapy assessment report
  • Occupational therapy home and school programme
  • Occupational therapy consultation with parents, class teacher, significant others
  • Occupational therapy treatment sessions or joint therapy sessions with other disciplines
  • Training workshops for parents, teachers, Special Needs Assistants and significant others
  • Assessment and recommendations for assistive technology
  • Contribution to the multidisciplinary team
  • Multidisciplinary assessments
  • Group sessions e.g. social skills groups, feeding groups, the ALERT programme
  • School & Home visits
  • Referral to other Professionals in our Team

Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Individuals with the following difficulties will benefit from occupational therapy:

  1. Decreased motor skills:
    Fine motor (e.g. colouring, writing, cutting skills, etc.)
    Gross motor (e.g. running, jumping, ball skills, etc.)
    Balance and coordination
  2. Developmental coordination disorder/dyspraxia
  3. Autism spectrum disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not-Otherwise-Specified, Autism, Asperger Syndrome)
  4. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  5. Handwriting problems
  6. Decreased self-care e.g. dressing, tying laces, buttons, using eating utensils and others
  7. Decreased play skills
  8. Learning difficulties
  9. Sensory processing difficulties
  10. Mental health issues
  11. Pressure Care and Posture and Anxiety Management for older people
  12. Adult rehabilitation (e.g. stroke, brain injury)
  13. Housing Adaptation Grants

Joint SLT/OT

Joint Occupational/Speech & Language Therapy

How does this work?

There are certain circumstances when it is in the best interests of the individual client to have both the Speech Therapist and the Occupational Therapist work on overlapping goals at the same time.

 

JointServices

 

Very broadly speaking, there are four main areas where it can be best to have both an OT and SLT work together at the same time (Social Skills, Attention, Play Skills and Feeding). It is not a hard and fast rule, and as always, it is the clinical recommendation as to what is best for the individual, that drives the decision.

jointsltotpresGenerally the Occupational Therapist focuses on the sensory and motor co-ordination areas which enables us to live our lives and perform daily tasks. Additionally, the Speech Therapy discipline focuses on the areas of communication, understanding and speech. When it comes to areas such as Social Skills, Play Skills, Feeding (and feeding issues), and Attention (and attention issues), the roles of the SLT and OT may overlap. Each of the therapists will have a different angle or approach on the same issue, which can be helpful in addressing difficulties from a holistic point of view.

 

For example, some children find it difficult to engage in therapy tasks, or have difficulty paying attention. Joint sessions can be very helpful, to get the optimal results from therapy sessions. The Occupational Therapist helps the child to attend to tasks, for example by helping them regulate themselves from a sensory perspective. Movement activities also may lead to increased speech attempts. The Speech and Language Therapist helps to create a language enriching environment during activities, and also help support communication attempts during the sessions.

 

Referrals for Joint Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy arise in several ways:

  • Directly from a parent or carer.
  • As a result of existing SLT or OT services, where the therapist feels better results may be obtained by a Joint Therapy session.
  • Referred from another healthcare professional, such as Psychologist, or GP.

 

 

CATTS Class Screening Service

CATTS provides a Class Screening service for Preschoolers or Infants/Senior Infant level in Primary Schools.

The screening can be performed by either a Speech & Language Therapist (SLT Screening), Occupational Therapist (OT Screening), or a combination of both professionals to give a Joint OT and SLT Screening for a class.

What benefit would a Class Screening have?

There are many Red Flag signs in the early years which may be spotted by a routine standardised screening of a pupil. In short, a screening can catch those early signs that may possibly give rise for concern later.

The outcome of the screening is usually a short report for the pupil’s parent, along with a debrief at class level for the teacher.

What a Class Screening is not:

A Class screening is not an assessment for any pupil which the teacher or parent may have expressed a concern about regarding motor ability, sensory awareness, or speech development. Where you as a teaching or childcare professional have a concern about a pupil, or pupils in your class, please contact us regarding an OT or SLT Assessment to determine any needs.

If you have a concern regarding a pupil and require assistance getting your concern heard at parent or guardian level, we have a Red Flag document which has been found useful by teachers and childcare professionals in the past in explaining when a delay may be a cause for concern.

 

In order to provide a screening, we would require:

  • Parental Permission for each child (CATTS will send you a form you can use, or we can use the school’s own one if easier). When we do not receive a parental consent letter, we cannot perform a screening or any other observation (informal or otherwise) on that pupil.
  • Use of a spare room or quiet corner of a classroom.
  • We usually try to keep the cost of screenings nominal, usually €20 or €30 per child, which is payable on the day.

School and Special Education Unit Support

As well as the usual range of SLT and OT services, we also offer specialised consultation and support to mainstream schools, and schools with additional Special Education units:

 

1.  Consultations (SLT and/or OT) 1/2 day or full day

The therapist will provide support to you, and your class. Usually this support is planned in discussion with you as the Special Education teacher, to ensure that priorities for all pupils are met throughout the year. Our weekly ½ day supports are set up to operate on the basis of 40 visits per school year. This allows for flexibility around the events and logistics that may take place in your school. We have a range of pricing methods, which we can tailor to your school based on the time of the year you wish to involve us, and the method of funding your school wishes to use. We also offer our training services, as listed below, as part of the consultation package if desired. We can tailor a blank-slate solution for a school which has unique needs.

 

2.  Individual pupil consults, assessment and therapy

We can provide once-off or regular support to an individual student where there is a concern. This student does not need to be in a Special Education class. In these instances, depending on location and parental consent, we can see the child at one of our clinics as well.

 

3.  Teacher training to help students requiring additional support in class

We have a range of teacher training talks and workshops available, which we can provide to the school’s teaching staff, such as identifying OT or SLT needs in a mainstream classroom, practical tips and strategies, sensory processing, and introduction to AAC, or how to use visual supports in the classroom.

We also offer a workshop on Voice Care for Teachers (keeping your voice healthy). Teachers often suffer from hoarseness, laryngitis or other voice disorders and SLT’s can provide preventative advice and therapy. We have received amazing positive feedback from teachers who have attended this workshop. It is always best when the whole teaching team in the same school can participate together, as many of the benefits are only gained by frequent use, and having the support of peers throughout the school year.