April is a month designated to celebrating Occupational Therapist. Occupational therapy enables people of all ages live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. It is a practice deeply rooted in science and is evidence-based, meaning that the plan designed for each individual is supported by data, experience, and “best practices” that have been developed and proven over time.
Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants focus on “doing” whatever occupations or activities are meaningful to the individual. It is occupational therapy’s purpose to get beyond problems to the solutions that assure living life to its fullest. These solutions may be adaptations for how to do a task, changes to the surroundings, or helping individuals to alter their own behaviors.
When working with an occupational therapy practitioner, strategies and modifications are customized for each individual to resolve problems, improve function, and support everyday living activities. The goal is to maximize potential. Through these therapeutic approaches, occupational therapy helps individuals design their lives, develop needed skills, adjust their environments (e,g., home, assisted living facilities, or work) and build health-promoting habits and routines that will allow them to thrive.
By taking the full picture into account—a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup as well as their environment—occupational therapy assists clients to do the following:
• Achieve goals
• Function at the highest possible level
• Concentrate on what matters most to them
• Maintain or rebuild their independence
• Participate in daily activities that they need or want to do.
Qualifying Medicare recipients can qualify for an occupational therapist to come into the home to evaluate, educate, provide rehabilitation treatments, and modalities to improve functional independence. This service may be appropriate for but not limited to seniors that are deconditioned, secondary to acute or chronic orthopedic and/or neurologic disorders, have memory or cognitive impairment or suffer from low vison. Each patient is evaluated to determine their condition and an appropriate care plan is designed to meet that patients goals. If you have questions about occupational therapy and specialty services please contact Nurse On Call at (239) 643-9940.