The Home Modification Information (HMinfo) Clearinghouse, established in 2002, is an information service tasked with collating, reviewing and creating the evidence base for best practice in modification of the home environment to support people with problems in self care, participation and autonomy.
Home modifications are changes made to the home environment to help people to be more independent and safe in their own home and reduce any risk of injury to their carers and careworkers. Modifications to the home include changes to the structure of the dwelling e.g. widening doors, adding ramps, providing better accessibility etc. and the installation of assistive devices inside or outside the dwelling e.g. grabrails, handrails, lifts etc. Home modifications assist people with disability and older people to be more independent and may reduce the need for ongoing assistance.
HMinfo is located at the City Futures Research Centre within the Faculty of the Built Environment at UNSW. HMinfo is a multi-disciplinary team comprised of academics and professionals of diverse backgrounds including industrial design, sociology, gerontology, economics, geography, planning, architecture, government policy and occupational therapy. HMinfo team members have many years of practical experience working directly with people in home and community settings and with service providers, industry and prescribing therapists. Our diverse expertise and experience means that we are skilled in synthesising research relevant across academia, industry and consumer target groups.
HMinfo publishes evidence-based literature reviews, occasional papers, summary bulletins and factsheets, drawing on research about how particular built environments (i.e. products, materials and services) impact human autonomy and wellbeing outcomes. HMinfo also provides support to practitioners through its General, Industry and Occupational Therapist (OT) forums and OT mailing list.
HMinfo also contributes to the development and implementation of evidence led government policy with respect to older people and their carers and to younger people with disability and their carers.