ATP launches home modifications business

Monday, November 21, 2011

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - Cindi Petito has seen demand for home modifications grow during the past decade. 

Her new venture, Lottus Designs, is an effort to meet that need. 

"The main advantage is that I make sure that the equipment and the environment are compatible with each other," said Petito. 

As an OT and ATP, Petito continues to work with patients at Lottus' sister company, Seating Solutions. After recommending mobility equipment, she then offers assistance through Lottus on how the patient's home can be modified to be accessible for that device. She works with contractors throughout the home modification process. Her goal, she said, is to make sure the client is able to function at his or her full potential. 

Petito is part of a growing trend in the mobility industry where providers are branching out into home modifications--anything from ramps to modified bathrooms and kitchens. 

That trend is a good thing, according to Petito.

"(Providers) can understand the mobility aspect of it as well as the home accessibility aspect of it," she said. "I think it's a good addition for their business."

Petito recommends those interested in the home modification market earn a credential like the AHIA Certified Environmental Access Consultant.

Petito, a certified aging-in-place specialist, said the increasing need in her area can be attributed to baby boomers wanting to stay at home rather than move to an assisted living facility.

The hardest part of her work is finding funding for the home modifications, said Petito. She lists possible sources, including grants, on her website, and will continue to add more links as she finds them. 

"Sometimes we can't find the funding, but we do the best we can to help these individuals," she said. 

Petito's favorite part of Lottus? Showing customers what is available to make their lives easier. 

"It's the little things in life," she said. "When you present them with options, it really does change their world."