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Fit For Life patient handling training course.

Occupational Therapy Environmental Assessments for New Buildings or Renovations


Since 2001 we have witnessed the changing face of nursing homes and long-term care facilities with many new homes being built. Almost all other homes have had to extend and or renovate to continue to operate within HIQA standards. We have witnessed successful projects in accommodating and improving the needs of their residents and staff but also some that have been ill advised and requiring expensive post build alterations. Due to this onsite practical experience and the widening base of our expertise we have been providing proprietors of new builds or extensions expert advice at all stages of planning.

This expertise covers an initial comprehensive Occupational Therapy (OT) environmental assessment to ensure that all aspects of the building configure to standard regulations. In addition, multidisciplinary (MDT) based expertise is provided on the design of all the types of rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms) ensuring the correct layout and positioning of assistive devices (handrails) to promote safety and independence.

Particular attention is paid to seating to ensure that there is appropriate variation and suitability for all dependency levels and areas. The selection of the appropriate seating for sitting rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms at this stage can greatly enhance individual’s functional ability, reduce the need for specialised seating and reduce the risk of falls.

Expert advice can also be given to ensure that the new build is a dementia friendly environment including appropriate areas for activities to encourage independence. Set up of treatment rooms and sourcing therapeutic equipment is also a service that we can provide. Further recommendations can be provided upon review of fixtures and fittings and the structure and layout of the kitchen, laundry rooms, treatment rooms and activity rooms. In order to ensure that your new build works as seamlessly as possible for everyone we also recommend that ergonomic assessments of all staff activities are carried out.

 New build assessment outline:

  • Comprehensive OT environmental assessment, report and recommendations.

  • MDT recommendations on appropriate furniture and fittings.

  • Specifications for safe environment for all while promoting independence.

  • Ergonomic manual handling assessments for all staff activities.


Duration: Depends on the size of the build and the level of input required.



  • Avoid costly structural adaptations post build completion and furnishing.

  • To ensure appropriate furniture is purchased for long term use and suitability for all resident dependency and body shapes and sizes while maintaining aesthetic look.

  • Avoiding the purchase of expensive specialised chairs for more dependent residents due to poor initial variety in selection of chairs.

  • Reduce the risk of falling from environmental factors.

  • Ensure that buildings will be in line with best practice regulations.

  • Efficient use of the building to promote independence for residents.

  • Reduce the rate of staff injury due to correct ergonomics in place for healthcare and non-healthcare staff.

  • Marketing tool to educate potential clients in relation to the best practice efforts to maximise all resident’s independence.

To find out more please call (01) 213 7915 or click below to speak to one of our senior management team.

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