The role of occupational therapists is essential in adapting a home. Their vast experience and deep knowledge is extremely resourceful in helping clients achieve a home that works for their individual needs. 

Occupational therapists often work together when planning home adaptations and like to share the latest developments and innovations to boost awareness within their professional community. 

This blog looks at some home adaptations that we think occupational therapists may find helpful.

Typical Home Adaptations That Occupational Therapists Should Know About

There are lots of typical home adaptations that occupational therapists regularly recommend. These things make getting around a home easier if a patient is living with a disability.

Home adaptations may be necessary because someone is now living in a new home, is returning home from the hospital, or has a condition that has progressed. For occupational therapists, familiarising yourself with the options available can help you to best help the people you are supporting. 

They range from minor changes to major ones and can include:


Wheelchair ramps provide an easy-to-manoeuvre slope in place of or in addition to stairs. These provide improved access to people with reduced mobility, enabling them to move between areas of different floor heights, such as at the entrance to the home or between split-level rooms. 

Level Access Showers

A level access shower reduces the risk of trips and falls in the bathroom because the shower floor is level with the rest of the flooring in the space. 

Wider Doorways

Most standard doorways are not wide enough for a wheelchair user to get through. By widening the doorways, wheelchair users and other individuals requiring more space to safely navigate their homes can comfortably access all areas of the property.


Modern stairlifts are sleek, quiet, and easy to install. Travelling along a rail, a stairlift transports its user up and down a staircase so that they can gain access to rooms on all floors of their property. 

Enhancing Downstairs Bedrooms

Within multi-storey properties, bathrooms on a first or second floor can present an access problem for individuals who will be living on the ground floor. 

Adding ensuite bathrooms to ground floor bedrooms simplifies toileting and personal care for people who find it difficult to navigate stairlifts, staircases and moving around in general.

Building Extensions

Space for installing appropriate adaptations can be an issue. Sometimes, OTs may put forward building a brand new extension onto a property to enable the addition of a ground floor bedroom or bathroom – or both. 

General adaptations like these can transform the lives of people living with reduced mobility. Here are 3 more specific recommendations that OTs can make to enhance an adapted property…

Geberit AquaClean Mera Care

The Gerberit AquaClean Mera Care is an accessible toilet designed with a full wash and dry cycle built in. This paperless element reduces waste, provides gold-standard washing, is great for the environment and protects the user’s skin. 

How The AquaClean Toilet Helps

Gerberit’s AquaClean WC can be operated with the simple press of a button or wave of a hand –  even an eye movement if you opt for Eyegaze technology as an add-on. Being able to trigger the warm water wash and air-dry functions in these ways reduces and can even remove the need for assistance during toileting. 

When you choose an AquaClean toilet, you gain an adaptable unit that can be easily modified to meet individual needs. The spray intensity, arm position, and air and water temperature can be altered for a personalised washing experience, and the unit can store preferences for up to four different users. 

Everyone should be able to look after themselves in a comfortable, dignified manner. This Gerberit WC enhances independent living and vastly improves the accessibility of personal hygiene for people living with reduced mobility. 

The John Ford Group are recommended installers for Gerberit’s AquaClean Mera Care accessible toilet, and the unit comes with a 5-year warranty for complete peace of mind.

Geberit AquaClean Accessible Toilets


Lighting isn’t a particular product but rather a whole area of adaptations to consider when you’re modifying a property. And it’s a big one.

There are many ways to manage lighting to make it more accessible for users with limited mobility levels, and lighting solutions will always depend on individual needs. For example, people with visual impairment benefit from a mix of ambient and narrow-beam lighting.

But there are some options which will provide enhanced lighting for everyone.

LED Strip Lighting

LED strip lighting is easy to install and energy efficient. It’s also not too costly, making it a great addition to any adapted home.

Whether it’s inlaid in the tread of the stairs to highlight each incline or installed underneath high kitchen cupboards to shine a light onto worktops below for tasks which require concentration, LED lighting can be extremely useful for navigating a home or to compensate for visual impairment. 

Laying LED lighting around door locks, light switches and other room landmarks – even the toilet – also helps users manage spatial awareness and access the facilities they need with a reduced risk of slips, trips and falls. 

Motion Sensor Lighting

Sensor lights are activated by movement. This is an essential living aid for plenty of individuals living with reduced mobility and can be used externally and internally to illuminate any areas which may be difficult to navigate.

Motion sensor lights may be installed outdoors to light up driveways and steps, or indoors to illuminate the route from the bedroom to the bathroom, for example. And, because they only turn on when needed, sensor lights also help to keep energy bills low. 

Daylight Bulbs

Artificial lighting can strain the eyes, especially for people with visual impairment. 

Daylight lamps and lightbulbs minimise this strain by providing a type of light that mimics natural daylight. This type of light is glare-free and helps individuals recognise black and white contrast, crucial for manoeuvring around a property safely and enabling individuals to take part in home-life activities for longer periods without experiencing eye discomfort. 

Smart Home Accessories

Our homes are increasingly ‘smart’, and the benefits don’t stop where accessibility is concerned. 

Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa, a virtual AI assistant in the form of a smart speaker, has features that can aid accessible living.

This is because Alexa is capable of voice interaction. And that means that lights, electronics and kitchen appliances – even your thermostat – can be controlled with a voice command from anywhere in the property, as well as be set to a schedule. For people with accessibility challenges, this simplifies daily life and removes a lot of unnecessary travel around the home that could cause discomfort. 

Alexa can also store information about its users, like appointments and medication knowledge, to automate reminders, removing the need to access help elsewhere. 

One particular feature of Amazon Alexa, ‘Show and Tell’, is designed to help visually impaired users identify kitchen goods. This is a huge help when packing away a bag of shopping or tidying away items left out on the worktops. Users simply need to hold an item up to the camera of the Alexa and ask, ‘Alexa, what am I holding?’ and the smart device will be able to identify the item. 

Smart Blinds

Window coverings such as curtains and blinds require manual operation, but smart blinds can be opened or shut with a click of a button (or a tap of an app on a smartphone). Not just convenient, smart blinds can promote independent living where dexterity and mobility are challenging.

Video Doorbells

For some individuals, moving to answer the door can be a slow, tricky process. Or even impossible. 

Being able to virtually interact with someone at the door means users can acknowledge their arrival, give instructions or ask for help if required without having to move from where they are. 

Smart Locks

Smart locks are electromechanical devices that mean users can forget about their house keys once and for all.

These locks can be operated by a variety of different methods, such as inputting a code, biometric sensors like fingerprints and eye scans, or access cards or fobs. The benefits smart locks provide are many, including…

  • Increased security. With smart locks, you can see who coming in and out of your property, and when. 
  • Convenience. A set of keys can easily be lost or stolen. Depending on the model, all you need to operate a smart lock and gain access to the home is yourself!
  • Integration. Smart locks can be paired up with other smart home devices to automate the home living experience. Doorbells, security cameras, thermostats and lighting systems can all work together to make coming home and leaving the house smooth and simple. 

Adaptations Come In All Shapes And Sizes

Everything we’ve run through in this blog can help make a home easier to live in, and OTs can support their clients by discussing the options with them.

Looking for more specific adaptation advice? Got a project in mind but not sure where to start? See our website to get in touch.