Occupational Therapy’s Role In Home Health

Occupational therapy is an important part of any home health agency’s spectrum of care. Occupational therapy practitioners can have many roles in improving efficiency, implementing new administrative requirements, and optimizing outcomes for patients.

Some patients have the potential to regain skills affected by their conditions. Other patients need strategies to prevent further loss of abilities. Regardless of specific diagnosis or condition, occupational therapy practitioners offer strategies for their patients to manage daily activities while reducing the risk of injury or further decline. Occupational therapy practitioners find the right fit between patients’ abilities, needed and desired activities, and their home environment so patients can manage safely and productively—at home.

Management of chronic conditions is in large part management of daily activities. Occupational therapy brings expertise to help patients translate “doctor’s orders” to manageable daily habits and routines. Some chronic conditions and ways that occupational therapy can help include:

  • Diabetes:Occupational therapy addresses the many aspects of diabetes management that must become daily routines: blood sugar monitoring, hygiene and foot care, meal planning and preparation, healthy coping strategies, and physical activity. Occupational therapy practitioners can also train patients with diabetes to use compensatory strategies for vision, sensory, or motor loss that may interfere with their daily activities.
  • Heart failure:Occupational therapy addresses strategies to conserve energy and reduce the demands of activities, while integrating appropriate physical activity and self-monitoring. Occupational therapy practitioners can assist patients to master new activities—daily weights, modified diets—and incorporate these activities into regular routines.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Occupational therapy addresses strategies to conserve energy, reduce the demands of activities, and self-monitor to avoid exacerbations. Occupational therapy practitioners can assist patients to incorporate pacing, planning, and stress management into daily activities.
  • Cognitive and behavioral health conditions: Occupational therapy addresses daily routines, medication adherence, self-management, and stress management strategies.

Occupational Therapy also aids individuals with generalized weaknesses, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, COPD, depression, or Parkinson’s disease. And occupational therapists can instruct on how to use adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, orthoses, and devices to assist with dressing and eating.

At Home Health Care, Inc., our occupational therapists will:

  • Evaluate and train clients for daily living activities
  • Teach exercise programs to increase joint motion, strength, and flexibility
  • Instruct you about joint protection and personal energy conservation
  • Evaluate you home for safety and recommend changes
  • Train in the use of adaptive devices
  • Make recommendations to caregivers and family members, and provide training wherever necessary
  • Utilize special equipment to improve your well-being

For more information about occupational therapy services, call us at 763.417.8888.