There are lots of superheroes in our world and those who offer occupational therapy in the areas of Maquoketa and elsewhere really deserve this title.
Actually, pretty much everyone at Above and Beyond Home Health Care has been called this more than once. But our group of occupational therapists has an important role in helping patients learn or relearn valuable skills to help them do well in their current environment.
In some cases, occupational therapists help people gain the skills they need to go back to the workplace. Or in other cases, they teach skills to help people be more independent at home so they don’t have to relocate.
The need for therapy can include recovering from major surgery, building new skills after a serious accident, or even adjusting following a major health condition such as a stroke. It even could be concern from a patient their loved ones or a caregiver that the patient wants to make sure they’re capable of performing a variety of simple and complex tasks around the house in order to live there safely, vs. having to relocate to an assisted living center or a different community with more advanced care.
People considering whether occupational therapy will help with their independence can learn about some of the services available.
- Help with basic tasks. Even simple behaviors like getting in and out of bed unassisted can be vital in someone looking to show independence. An occupational therapist who visits a patient’s home can work with him or her in their bedroom to make sure they have the abilities and knowledge to go to bed and get out of bed each day. If they are unable to do this without hurting themselves or needing help it might be a sign that they need to relocate.
- Help with grooming/dressing. Part of a daily ritual includes changing out of nightclothes into day clothes, along with hygiene tasks like brushing teeth and hair. Having the skills, knowledge, and coordination to put on and take off clothes without needing help can also go a long way in demonstrating independence. Some conditions also make some of these tasks challenging, so a trained occupational therapist can work with a patient to make sure patients begin to learn them safely.
- Help with working in the kitchen. Clients need to have the knowledge to make sure what food they have on hand is safe to eat and not moldy or otherwise dangerous. When they cook or prepare food, they have to make sure they use things like the oven and stove safely. This requires paying close attention to the task, not being distracted and being aware of fire risk. An occupational therapist can oversee what a patient does in the kitchen to prepare a typical meal, and then offer suggestions on ways to do it safer. Assisted living places often have dining areas, but don’t require residents to cook their own meals, so being able to in one’s own environment can be helpful.
- Safety features. Occupational therapists can offer advice on improvements that can be made to a patient’s home to be safer and help them be more independent. This can also include looking for places where railings can be added to help someone walk up and down stairs or down hallways without assistance. It could include looking for darker spots that can benefit from adding extra light which can reduce the risk of tripping over obstacles in the darkness. These efforts can also include looking for and removing possible hazards, such as area rugs that can catch and trip someone or can be difficult when walking with a cane.
- Fall safety. Falls can be devastating to seniors, especially those trying to seek independence. Trying to recover from a fall may require a temporary or permanent move to another facility which many people will want to avoid, especially those who live alone. But an occupational therapist can provide suggestions for ways to help people lower their falling risk. This can also include working with physical therapists to build up strength and flexibility which both can help reduce fall danger. Or it can also include looking at and training someone how to use assistive devices such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs.
Occupational therapists through Above and Beyond Home Health Care work closely with other therapists to provide optimal care for patients. They also communicate with health care providers, any caregivers or family members/loved ones to make sure a patient’s progress and challenges are always noted and discussed.
Although moving to an assisted living facility might be the best medical need, but opportunities are provided to allow a patient to remain in their own home as much as possible provide the place is safe and he or she has learned or relearned appropriate skills to do so.
Please contact us for more information about what our occupational therapists focus on to make sure patients remain safe and help their families remain secure in their knowledge.