The Above and Beyond Home Health Care staff is happy to provide a wide variety of home health care services to help clients in Eastern Iowa who want to live independently but still may need some degree of support for their health conditions. But we are also happy to offer even more services to area residents, including several types of therapies.
These therapies can work especially well for those choosing palliative care, a health care approach that has a primary focus on improving quality of life and easing the pain when possible, rather than traditional care that often can be more about finding a cure or undergoing sometimes more invasive procedures. Some traditional care may also take place in hospital care or an assisted living facility, but with palliative care, people are often provided the option to stay at home, which also decreases their overall stress and can promote better healing and support.
Some of the therapies we have available include massage, which soothes aching muscles and other soft tissue, helps relax the body and can lead to better sleep, something that can help people all around. Regular massage can reduce stress, improve the body’s performance, lower inflammation, and more.
Physical therapy is also available, which also helps patients recover motion or abilities that may have been lost or reduced due to injury or illness. Physical therapy can assist with regaining or even improving what someone may have previously had, with the added benefits of reducing pain and improving flexibility.
Above and Beyond Home Health Care also offers some unique therapies, including music therapy and art therapy, which both use creative expression to help people reduce their anxiety, stimulate their brains, and generally feel better.
One form of therapy that is especially beneficial to many patients is occupational therapy. While some might think, by the name. that it’s designed to get people back to work, such as if they sustained an injury or had a serious health condition that affected their abilities.
But actual occupational therapy goes beyond this. It helps people learn or re-learn all sorts of valuable life skills that might have been lost or damaged.
Occupational therapists can help people with various areas of their life, including how to make meals and perform various other tasks in the kitchen. They can also help teach basic living skills such as getting in and out of bed unassisted, dressing, grooming, and walking through their house safely.
An occupational therapist can also do their own walk-through of a client’s home to evaluate any health hazards and make sure their client has a safe environment to move around in, whether permanently or while they recuperate.
This could mean things as basic as moving area rugs if someone has mobility issues and needs a cane, crutches, or a walker to get around. Area rugs can be a tripping hazard especially if someone is just re-learning how to move. Slipping or tripping can lead to a fall that could be serious or even life-threatening quickly.
These evaluations can also include a closer look at parts of your home that could be unsafe and offering suggestions for improvement. For instance, bathrooms, which are quite unsafe, can have bars added to the shower area to help people keep their balance better.
Occupational therapists also work closely with clients and their families, including helping people set realistic goals for progress or giving “homework,” such as exercises for the days that the therapist is unable to visit.
Because it’s important for more people to know details about the benefits of occupational therapy, the American Occupational Therapy Association has designated April as OT Month, an opportunity to learn about how the process works and how it can help people.
The association wants to make sure people know that all ages can benefit and improve their lives through this type of therapy, whether some of their lost abilities were due to injury, illness, or disability. Association members also want people to think of occupational therapy as something holistic and individualized to benefit each client, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach where everyone gets the same treatment plan.
The general goal is to adapt to the environment and task/skill to fit each person, rather than offering the same focus to everyone.
Occupational therapists are encouraged to spread the word about what they do during April – and the rest of the year. This can include sharing info on their social media accounts about what they do or reaching out to other partners in the health care community.
Someone who wants to focus on palliative care also might want to consider occupational therapy because it also has a focus on improving quality of life.