An Activities of Daily Living (ADL Activities of daily living) assessment is carried out by an Occupational Therapist and used by an Agent to assess a worker’s functional capacity and the necessity and appropriateness of the personal and household services requested.
Where appropriate, Agents are supported in their review of personal and household services requests by an occupational therapist (OT Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to or are expected to do or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement .) assessment of the worker’s requirements as a result of their work-relate injury and to assist workers to maximise their independence.
An Agent can arrange an ADL assessment:
- after they have reviewed information on file and consulted the Short Term Household Help Ready Reckoner in
- where requests for household help are not in line with typical expectations and a potential justification provided by the referrer or worker requires further exploration not possible without an onsite assessment.
- when a review of services is required, such as when ongoing household help is in place and the worker would likely benefit from alternative strategies to maintain independence.
- when there is a request for assistive equipment or adaptive strategies to maximise and maintain a worker’s independence in undertaking household or gardening tasks.
Purpose of an ADL assessment
The purpose of an ADL assessment is to:
- assess the worker’s ability to carry out basic, routine, common household tasks which they have identified as having difficulty undertaking.
if needed, confirm and assess the worker’s household circumstances. Ideally workers circumstances should be established prior to an ADL referral.
- identify strategies to maximise and maintain a worker’s independence in completing household tasks by:
- re-educating and training the worker in adaptive housework or gardening methods
- assisting the worker to find ways to compensate for any functional limitations by the use of adaptive techniques or equipment
- creating changes to housework or gardening methods (e.g. use of self-pacing tasks throughout the day). Note: these changes should be implemented before any use of labour hire service provision.
When an ADL assessment is not required
An ADL assessment is not required where the information being sought is available from another source.
Where the ADL assessment is unlikely to change the outcome
An ADL assessment is unlikely to change the outcome when it is clear the worker does not have an entitlement to the service an OT is being asked to review.
Although not able to conduct ADL assessments, practitioners involved in the worker’s treatment should, where ever appropriate, identify strategies to assist the worker to be independent, including in household and gardening tasks.
When an ADL assessment is required
When the Agent has sourced all available information from treaters and the worker but remains unable to determine a worker’s needs, an ADL assessment can be arranged.
An ADL assessment should be used to identify strategies to assist the worker to be independent in household and gardening tasks, it is not just an assessment of replacement labour requirements.
Provide an ADL assessment
The assessment can only be undertaken by Occupational Therapists (OTs Occupational therapists (OTs) help people of all ages to improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. They work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, socially or emotionally disabling. They also help them to develop, recover or maintain daily living and work skills. Occupational therapists help clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. Occupational therapists assist clients in performing activities of all types, ranging from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking and eating. Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while other activities may be chosen to improve visual acuity and the ability to discern patterns.) who:
- are registered with WorkSafe
- are registered with the Occupational Therapy Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to or are expected to do or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement. Board of Australia supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
- have a thorough understanding of WorkSafe’s household help policies and appropriate experience conducting ADL assessments.
The assessment cannot be undertaken by OTs who meet the above criteria if they:
- have been involved in the treatment or occupational rehabilitation of the worker
- provided services or advice to the worker’s employer
Information the Agent should provide to assist the OT
Agents must provide relevant information to assist OTs in their assessment. Documents that must be provided to OTs are:
- ADL assessment referral form, including a clear referral purpose
- the written request received from the medical practitioner and any other information they provided
- claim form authority
The following documents should be provided to the OT if they are relevant to the assessment:
- current Certificate of Capacity Ongoing certificate is issued for up to 28 days and can be issued by a: medical practitioner, osteopath, physiotherapist, chiropractor.
- previous household help or ADL assessments
- relevant sections of the most recent health practitioner or independent medical examiner reports
- return to work plan (if any).
ADL assessment for child care services
As part of the ADL assessment, the OT should:
- assess the worker’s ability to carry out tasks, including child care, which the worker was responsible for prior to the work-related An injury/disease is work related if it arose out of or in the course of employment and the scope of employment. injury or illness
- identify strategies to maximise and maintain a worker’s independence in completing tasks by:
- re-educating and training the worker
- assisting the worker to find ways to compensate for any functional limitations by using adaptive techniques or equipment
- assess the worker’s circumstances
- recommend external household help services, including child care, for the Agent’s consideration where independence cannot be maintained.
ADL assessment for firewood
In the event that a worker is deemed eligible for firewood, an ADL may be required to confirm eligibility and suitability for this funding.
As part of the ADL assessment, the OT will review:
- pre-injury household firewood provision
- the worker’s capacity to lift, chop and stack wood
- the type of heating/cooking facilities within the home
- pre-injury responsibilities of family members Family member means a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or child of the worker or of the worker's partner and their ability to contribute to firewood provision.
OT writes report
When writing the ADL assessment report, OTs must:
- relate recommendations and the report to the specific scope of the assessment request
- complete all relevant sections of the assessment report - where a section is not relevant, it should be marked as ‘not applicable’
- ensure the assessment report is typed, of high quality and error free
- be objective
- sign and date the assessment report.
The ADL assessment report must be submitted to the Agent within 18 working days of the request for assessment.
Note: If an ADL assessment report does not meet the requirements set out in the Guidance Material it may be returned to the Occupational Therapist for amendment at their cost.
Please refer to WorkSafe’s Occupational Therapy Services Fee Schedule for more information.
Agents can pay up to a maximum of four hours to an OT for undertaking an ADL assessment.
The four hours include:
- liaison with the Agent, worker and their THP Treating Health Practitioner
- conducting the assessment
- education (where appropriate)
- assessment preparation.
Travel for Agent referred ADL assessments is paid on a per kilometre basis. Please refer to WorkSafe’s Occupational Therapy Services Fee Schedule for more information.