Our commitment to keeping you safe

We have never taken for granted the sacred trust you place in us to care for your child, and today we are more grateful than ever for that privilege. To learn about all the ways we are working to keep you, your family and our team members safe, visit our COVID-19 updates page.

Home Environment Assessments

The family of every child treated at Our Children’s House — Children’s Health’s rehabilitation hospital for children recovering from severe injury and illness — receives either an in-person or virtual home environment assessment before their child returns home. These assessments ease your family’s transition home, especially if your child needs new equipment for daily life activities.

Our home environment assessment team is certified by the Accessible Home Improvement of America. If your assessment reveals adjustments that need to be made, our team will make it as easy, effective and efficient as possible to make these changes. We can also help you identify resources to make the updates in an accessible, affordable way.

What is a Home Environment Assessment?

A home environment assessment is when our team goes over a detailed checklist with you about various aspects of your home. The goal of these assessments is to help your family feel confident and comfortable managing your child’s care, progress and daily activities with any new equipment they will have at home.

Often, the home environment assessment reveals a need for equipment and adjustments to your home, such as:

  • Ramps
  • Shower seats
  • Toilet seats
  • Wider door frames

Our team is well connected in the community and can help identify organizations and vendors that will help make the necessary updates.

What are the benefits of a Home Environment Assessment?

Home environment assessments are crucial to your child’s continued recovery, progress and safety at home. They help provide an environment where you, your child and any caregivers can move around as freely as possible. The Home Environment Assessment (and any of the changes made to the home as a result) will make it possible for your child to continue their recovery at home. The better prepared you are for their return home, the more smoothly the transition will go.

We know how much your child means to you. Working with us on a home environment assessment means you will have access to the tools you need to continue caring for your child.

What to expect with a Home Environment Assessment?

We start the home environment assessment conversation with you on day 1 of your child’s care at Our Children’s House. That way, your family can plan to make adjustments in time for your child’s long-awaited return home.

What to expect during a Home Environment Assessment?

We usually do these assessments virtually. One parent or caretaker is in your home and one is with us and the child at Our Children’s House.

During this call, the caretaker in the home will do a walk-through and answer our questions from our checklist, such as:

  • How many steps are there at the entrance to your home? Does your child need a ramp installed?
  • How wide are your door frames? Do they need to be expanded to accommodate a wheelchair?
  • How many steps are inside your home?
  • How well can your child access the bathroom?
  • How well can your child access their bed?
  • Are there tripping hazards, such as thick carpets and throw rugs?
  • How high are the counters in your kitchen and bathroom? Will your child be able to reach and use them?

On rare occasions we will ask to visit your home to perform our assessment—we try to avoid this because we want to be respectful of your space and privacy.

What to expect after a Home Environment Assessment?

After the assessment, our team will help facilitate the process of getting the equipment and of making the necessary home modifications. Our team works hard to ensure that your home adjustments are made in time for your child’s return home. That way, your child can stay in our care up until your home is ready for them.

How do I prepare for a Home Environment Assessment?

There's nothing you need to do to prepare for a home environment assessment. Our job is to help you think ahead to when your child goes home. Our team will walk you through the assessment so your focus can remain on your child's care and recovery.

What questions should I ask my provider about my Home Environment Assessment?

Examples include:

  • How many home environment assessments have you performed?
  • How will the special equipment my child now needs affect our home environment assessment?
  • Will my child be involved in the home environment assessment at all? If so, in what ways?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much will my home adjustments cost?

    This varies from family to family and on the needs of your child. Our team works hard to make sure you can get the highest quality equipment and adjustments in your home for as low a cost as we can find. Our trusted relationships with vendors and volunteer organizations help uniquely position us to be successful at this.

    We also work with a volunteer agency that completes 3–5 ramp installments each year for our patients whose families cannot afford one and cannot build one on their own.

  • What if we live in a rental home where our ability to make changes is limited?

    Our team of social workers will work with you and your landlord to find solutions that work for everybody and are in the best interest of your child. It’s important to remember that you are not in this alone.

Resources

  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design