Measuring wellbeing through DIY home modifications

UD-logo-200x200Measuring Wellbeing through the DIY Home Modifications: Point of Sale Support for People with Disability and their Carers project

Researchers: Nicole McNamara and Catherine Bridge

Abstract: Appropriate home modifications contribute significantly to the wellbeing and safety of people with disability and their carers and can enable individuals to remain living in their own homes. Whilst home modifications have traditionally been delivered by government-funded programs in NSW such as the former Home and Community Care (HACC) Program and the current Community Care and Support Program (CCSP), these subsidised-modifications only represent a small percentage of home modifications nation-wide.

This paper presents an exploratory study of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) home modifications in NSW to investigate the wellbeing benefits associated with undertaking home modifications outside of this service-delivery system. We define a DIY home modification as a project undertaken by a person with a disability or with the assistance of family members or friends. The positive impact that DIY can have on individual wellbeing is examined using preliminary findings from semi-structured interviews conducted with key informants from a range of disability organisations, relevant government agencies, hardware retailers, and retailer associations (whose members, clients and/or customers include people with disability and their carers). The preliminary findings identify the need for further research into DIY home modifications and wellbeing. The paper concludes by proposing a mixed-method approach to examine the relationship between DIY home modifications and wellbeing more closely, through employing an economic analysis coupled with qualitative interviews.

Please contact Nicole McNamara at UNSW Faculty of the Built Environment for more information on this project