Future proofing your home with NDIS modifications

Home modifications can help make your home safer and more comfortable. When undertaking home modifications, it pays to install modifications that will stand the test of time and be appropriate for you now and as you age.

This article provides a definition of future proofing within the context of an NDIS plan. We also give suggestions for home modifications that will encourage independent living and address any safety concerns for many years to come.

How to future proof your home

It make sense to consider your longer term needs when designing and installing home modifications. The term “future proofing” means designing and planning for changes that will help you to stay comfortable for a long time. To properly do this at home, you need to think not only about your requirements now, but your likely future needs.

These considerations could relate to anticipated changes in your mobility or physical strength, or other changes to your senses or cognitive function. The goal is to ensure that your home remains useable and suitable for you, for as long as possible.

How to consider your future needs

Sometimes, thinking about the future can be scary or uncomfortable. However, contemplating what is to come enables you to be prepared and create a good plan. Considering and planning for home modifications and assistive technology that will help you can improve your independence in the longer term.

To begin with, make sure you have a good understanding of the impact of any medical conditions and disabilities. Then, think through where you would like to live, and what type of housing would suit you best. These questions may help prompt your thinking:

  • what do I expect the next five, ten or twenty years to be like?

  • what changes would help me maintain my lifestyle, hobbies and interest?

  • what equipment might I need at home?

  • what accessibility requirements will I have?

  • what type of environment do I want to create in each room?

  • how can I ensure my home is aesthetically pleasing to me?

  • what types of services do I anticipate I will need?

NDIS home modifications guidelines

Within the NDIS, home modifications are described as changes that help you manage your disability. These changes may help you safely access or move around the home, or, make daily tasks easier for you to complete.

Home modifications classified as minor or complex. Minor modifications cost less than $20,000. Minor home modifications are then divided up to Category A and Category B. Minor home modifications related to only one or two areas of the house and have low risk of problems.

Another important reason to consider the future when planning is that the NDIS is unlikely to fund a second round of home modifications, unless your needs change a great deal.

Minor home modification ideas

Minor home modifications that fit within Category A and Category B which may may considered include:

  • installing assistive technology, such as smart sensors or voice activated communication tools

  • adding a grab rail or handrail in the toilet or bathroom

  • adding a bed rail or banister rail to improve mobility and independence

  • switching to magnetic door holders

  • constructing a threshold ramp or step platform to improve access to outdoor spaces

Complex home modifications options

For more complex home modifications, a building construction practitioner is allocated to work with you to help plan out the works. Two quotes for works need to be obtained, which outline the area to be modified, costings for each stage of works, and a description of fixtures or materials.

More complex home modifications that will future proof your home include:

  • creating an accessible kitchen with low benchtops and cupboards

  • modifying doorways and hallways so that they are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair

  • removing stairs and replacing them with a ramp

  • modifying two story buildings so that essential equipment, rooms and facilities are located on the ground floor

Future proofing your bathroom

The bathroom is one room that often needs to be adapted for improved accessibility. If you have difficulty moving from living areas into the wet areas, or trouble getting into and out of the shower, then future proofing these areas is important.

Bathroom modifications will make it easier for you to manage your personal care in the longer term. You will be able to bathe safely. Examples to consider include:

  • removing a bath and installing extended shower spaces

  • moving a toilet from a separate small area into an open plan space

  • installing or leaving room for a hoist to enable safety during transfer and bathing

Nursed Care for NDIS services and support

Welcome to Nursed Care! We support NDIS participants of all ages and with a wide variety of disability types. We provide integrated care planning and support for people living with disability here in New South Wales. We provide many types of NDIS services, including personal care, social support and community participation.

Nursed Care also offer specialist disability accommodation, respite housing and short term residential housing. Contact us today or use our form online.

Nursed Care for a comfortable living environment

We can provide modifications and maintenance to residents living in different types of housing, including apartments and units. We will help you make your house a home and work with you to create spaces that you enjoy being in.

We will listen to you and make your needs our priority. We will involve you in choices and assist you to create changes that make a lasting and valuable difference. We will always let you decide on what is most important to you.

For example, we will discuss your ideas for design and styling, so that you can feel confident that on completion the space will be not only accessible but aesthetically pleasing. You will be able to have friends and family visit, and enjoy hobbies and recreational activities that add value to your life.

Check out the gallery of our home modifications team in action on our website and get started thinking about your own home modification.

Related questions

If you rent a property, you should seek approval for the modifications from your landlord. Landlords are often understanding about the need for modifications to be carried out, and will rarely deny a request for minor home modification or simple building work. Significant and more complex changes may take longer to be approved.

Once the changes are approved, you can seek support from the NDIS to pay for what you require. Read more in our blog on this topic.

If you are an existing NDIS participant, with a care plan and services in places, and you need home modifications, then contact us at Nursed Care, or your local area support coordinator. You will then need to engage an occupational therapist qualified to recommend more detailed home modification supports. You will need to provide evidence that the modifications you have requested are reasonable and necessary.

The NDIS website features a minor home modifications assessment template form.

There are several different guidelines and regulations that inform home modifications. For example, you need to make sure that you get building approvals and permissions from your local council, if required. Written evidence of these approvals must be provided to the NDIS.

A brand new home built with the support of the NDIS must meet the Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard (SDA Design Standard). An NDIS accredited builder or an independent building certifier can check works to be done are compliant.

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

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