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Home Health Care: Occupational Therapy can Offer Amazing Results

Therapy is a big part of recuperating from injury or living with a long-term illness. When it comes to occupational therapy in particular, many benefits are posed to the ill, injured or elderly. According to the National Association of Occupational Therapists, this branch of therapy helps people participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also referred to as occupations. Interventions can help children with disabilities so they can fully integrate in social situations. They can help people recover from injury and they can help in assisting the elderly in adapting to physical and cognitive changes.

With an occupational therapist, a patient can benefit from the following:

  • Individualized evaluation to determine goals
  • Customized plan designed to improve performance of daily activities
  • Recommendations for adaptive equipment and training
  • Guidance for family members and caregivers
  • Outcomes evaluation on a periodic basis to ensure goals are consistently being met. If not, adjustments can be made to the plan to accommodate setbacks or unexpected progression.

The Role of the Occupational Therapist in the Home

If your loved one qualifies for home health care and occupational therapy, you can expect a few things with the professional assigned to your case. Overall, practitioners offer strategies for their patients to manage daily activities while at the same time cutting back on the risk of injury or further decline. This is often a give and take process that will ultimately determine the correct fit between the abilities of the patient, the home environment, and the limitations of the illness or injury. Their main goal is to improve efficiency and maximize positive outcomes for patients.

Occupational therapists work with a variety of patients and illnesses. One big area of focus remains working with the elderly and their chronic rheumatoid arthritis. In this instance, they will help patients and families adapt to their environment, modify tasks, and use equipment to improve participation in every aspect of their daily lives, says the American College of Rheumatology. As part of this type of plan, therapists can help the patient manage fatigue so as to conserve energy and reduce stress. At the same time, they can teach learning relaxation techniques with the goal of improving sleep habits. Learning how to protect their joints, manage chronic pain, and use adapted equipment are all part of daily care. Improving or maintaining function can be achieved through the use of household modifications such as grip handles in the bathroom or raised toilet seats. These areas of home care in Sunnyvale, while an example of rheumatoid arthritis therapy, can apply to many other illnesses and conditions. This is particularly the case for the elderly as they adapt to new setbacks in their daily lives.

In the social realm, occupational therapists can locate personal and community resources for the patient so that they may get out and enjoy life. Planning, evaluating, adjusting…these are ongoing concerns of the occupational therapist, as this branch of therapy is hardly static. Even day to day life can present challenges that weren’t there previously, and just as easily, a new day can bring new promise.

Benefits of Occupational Therapy

When people hear of occupational therapy, they often think of adults or the elderly. While they certainly make up the majority of occupational therapy patients, all ages can benefit, points out KidsHealth. The therapist can, quite simply, help your loved one live a better, more productive life as they age. Gently re-learning forgotten skills and adding new routines can improve not only their physical health but their mental and emotional health as well.

Regardless of age or illness, though, it’s clear there are many benefits associated with home health occupational therapy. OT can:

  • Allow the patient to rehab at home in their own surroundings where they feel most comfortable
  • Help improve self-esteem
  • Encourage social interaction
  • Reduce stress
  • Enhance communication
  • Help patients regain strength
  • Help patients reinstate the abilities they had before OR help them adapt to changes in their abilities

From daily living tasks to fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or dialing a phone, these things can be huge challenges for those who have autism, dementia, Parkinson’s, chronic illness, rheumatoid arthritis, TBI, and other illnesses. Each patient will receive a customized plan of therapy that specifically addresses their unique challenges. Bottom line is: the role of the occupational therapist is to help the patient improve his or her quality of life at home, at work and in school through the introduction, maintenance and improvement of skills over time, according to WebMD. Some pretty amazing results can happen when the OT and patient, along with caregivers and family members, work together toward a common goal.

Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice

If your loved one needs help coping with chronic illness or is recovering from an injury, home health occupational therapy may be the answer. Contact us now to learn more at 888-755-7855. Pathways Home Health and Hospice can connect you with the care you need right now.