Susan Bachner on Facebook

Looking at the Physical Setting
and the People In It

Susan’s home modification consultations start with a good look at the physical setting and the people in it to understand what would constitute a good fit between them. It is not just about rooms such as a bathroom, kitchen or living room. Rather, it is about how the person is going to function in the physical environment while engaging in routines and activities of daily living. With this in mind, Susan’s projects, while sharing common elements, all differ from each other. Why? Because each of the individuals with whom Susan consults are different from others: different physically, different in needs and wants, different goals, different ages, different environments.

Susan’s training in Universal Design (UD) enables her to recommend comfortable and accessible products and environments so that people of all abilities are able to live comfortably throughout the lifespan. However, Susan’s experience and training have taught her that enabling environments might also require customizing, especially when there are known medical conditions or aging-in-place concerns.

With over 40 years of clinical experiences as an occupational therapist, Susan has worked with a wide range of ages as well as people challenged by physical, emotional and social situations.

How to Begin Working on a Project with Susan
Susan begins each project by meeting with the client and relevant people. She will work with the ‘team’ to determine what it would take for the person to remain where he most wants to be, home – with safety, ease, comfort, accessibility and in turn, as much independence as possible. Understanding the resident’s various routines, activities or occupations is essential. Establishing goals appropriate to the client is critical to this process of evaluation and intervention. Susan will take pictures, with written permission, to be used specifically for the project and report.

The final report consists of a binder housing the evaluation findings pertaining to home safety and activities of daily living. All client goals are addressed. All product recommendations are listed with order information and prices. Multiple sources are included when there is a differential in product pricing. Structural modifications are described and if needed, Susan enlists the services of a building professional to verify the structural feasibility of her advice. Because of the report’s comprehensiveness, it serves as a continuing guide and reference source for the client, caregivers and other professionals.

Here is what Susan’s clients have to say about working with Susan:

"Susan is a good listener. She listens to your concerns and works as a partner with you to find solutions. She is available to consult with family members and health care professionals to provide a team approach to addressing your individual needs. From her knowledge of universal design, she is able to suggest changes that will make your home more user-friendly without giving it an institutional appearance. Susan’s report includes measurements, pictures, and photographs as well as specific suggestions for assistive equipment and where to find it. Her report is invaluable when working with contractors or when seeking funding from Vocational Rehabilitation, Assisted Living, or other agencies.” - Judy S.

""I met Susan last summer when we were comtemplating some major remodeling. Our house was built in the 60's and had a small inaccessible shower. We wanted to make the bathroom wheelchair and walker accessible. Then we didn't need it yet! Susan came up with a wonderful plan and we started the long messy job. Our builder followed Susan's plans and called her at times to make sure he understood them. We love our new bathroom with heated tile floor, bidet seat, higher counter top and grab bars in many places. My husband had a stroke in April and it would have been impossible to give him a shower without these wonderful changes." - Ray and Judy McLaughlin