Social housing landlords hire occupational therapists to save money
19th February 2015
In order to cut the time taken to adapt a property to the needs of a disabled or elderly resident, many landlords have begun hiring occupational therapists themselves. Currently, tenants are expected to request a home visit from an occupational therapist sent by the local authorities, who will then produce a report for the landlord suggesting appropriate adaptions. However, a number of housing associations have now employed their own, saving both money and time in the process due to their added knowledge and less restrictive time constraints.
Teign Housing and Westward Housing are two companies who have made the decision to hire their own occupational therapist. Both work alongside each other, with the occupational therapist making suggestions for alterations following an assessment, which the housing associations then agree with. The post was originally trialled, but was made permanent when it was revealed that the time from initial contact to completion of adaptation had been cut by 50 per cent.
Improving tenants’ lives and saving public money
This has been found to be a successful solution, as the occupational therapists are often aware of properties that may already be available which are more suitable, preventing the need for any unnecessary adaptations. They can also advise on what is necessary for the individual client, recommending adaptations such as home stairlifts and walk in baths or showers.
Anthony Allot, a privately employed occupational therapist, has described how he is able to make decisions within two to three days, which his colleagues in social care are unable to do because of the high demands. Allot is also able to be involved with new-build properties, which is incredibly useful as the homes can be geared towards those with disabilities from the very beginning. In an article by the Guardian, it is stated that in just one particularly case, the knowledge of an in-house occupational therapist has saved the public £50,000.
Image Credit: Lydia (Flickr.com)
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