We hear it all the time: “What’s the point of occupational therapy when I’m retired from my occupation?” While comments like this one may be tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that many people downplay the role that occupational therapy plays in recuperating from an illness, injury, or hospitalization – and, in preventing future occurrences.
The Arizona senior care experts at Nightingale Homecare have compiled the basics and benefits of occupational therapy for you, in the hope that if a need arises for yourself or a loved one, you’ll incorporate OT services into your plan of recovery.
Sometimes the simple things, like bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals or just getting around your home can be a tremendous challenge during recovery from and illness or hospitalization. After a return home from the hospital, just making it through the front door can seem daunting. Then, the occupational therapist steps in to “save the day”! The OT’s initial evaluation includes dozens, if not hundreds of observations regarding your (or your loved one’s) home, mobility, limitations, and safety.
Occupational therapists evaluate how problems with movement, muscle weakness, sensation, vision, hearing, breathing, and thinking affect your daily living activities, and they can recommend special devices that can make these activities easier for those with challenges.
Not only do OTs have the educational background to analyze and develop a physical plan, but they also understand and evaluate the patient’s psychosocial status and disorders that impact the whole person. By working with an occupational therapist, individuals can learn and/or re-learn the “skills of living.” OTs can aide in moving the challenges of life into opportunities for growth, adaptation and acceptance.
Occupational therapists develop strategies to help clients overcome health issues such as mobility and movement problems due to developmental disorders, spinal cord injury, aging, or arthritis. They can also provide assistance in managing pain due to accidents, burns, back injury, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Other roles of the occupational therapist include:
- Assisting clients with re-learning and discovering new ways to manage home upkeep activities after an illness, disability or brain injury.
- Managing fatigue during activity due to a chronic lung or heart condition, CVA (or stroke), multiple sclerosis or other muscular degenerative illness, or depression.
- Assisting clients with performing daily living activities, and returning to a routine or work after an injury or prolonged illness.
- Providing tools and strategies for managing memory loss by introducing memory aids for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, stress, etc.
At Nightingale Homecare, we understand the value and necessity of our occupational therapists! They help clients avoid additional injury and also help prevent unnecessary hospitalization as well as premature long-term care and nursing home admissions.
To discover more of what an occupational therapist can do for you, contact Nightingale Homecare and let us help you realize your highest level of function and independence at home!