What Does an In-Home Occupational Therapist Do?
Whether it’s because of injury, illness, or old age, occupational therapy can be invaluable. For people who need it, occupational therapy can make a huge difference in everyday life and navigating even the simplest of tasks.
If you’re a new patient or a family member of a new patient, you may be wondering what an occupational therapist does. What do they do? How does it work? Take a look at everything you need to know about receiving occupational therapy.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a form of help that can allow patients to become more independent in their own homes. These daily occupations can become difficult as you age or if you suffer from an injury or illness. In addition, occupational therapy can help children and adults adapt to changes that will allow them to integrate into social situations.
Having an occupational therapist will mean you can benefit from occupational therapy home health assessments. This allows your therapist to tailor a plan that will improve daily activities.
Your therapist will also offer recommendations for equipment and training and be able to guide your relatives and caregivers in how they can help you.
What Your Occupational Therapist Does
The role of your occupational therapist will be to assess your situation and develop a plan that allows you to thrive as well as you can. Your therapist will need to help you to manage daily activities without any risk of injury.
Allowing you to manage your activities will depend on your illness or injury, your home environment, and your abilities. The main aim will be to provide you with positive and encouraging experiences.
For example, occupational therapists often work with elderly people with rheumatoid arthritis. This often means having to make adaptions in the home to make tasks easy. Handrails or bath rails are often put in place to make washing easier but there is a range of other types of equipment that could be useful, depending on the patient.
It can also mean that patients have difficulty sleeping well. Your occupational therapist will be able to offer relaxation techniques and help you to adjust your sleeping habits. You’ll also be shown some handy tips for conserving energy.
Patients may also need help with getting out and socializing in the community. An occupational therapist will need to seek out the right resources to ensure patients can live their lives to the full.
Benefits of an Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapy is often thought of as a therapy that helps the elderly or patients with an illness but pediatric occupational therapy is just as beneficial. This type of therapy for children can improve their physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition, it will equip them with the skills they need to take into adulthood.
Whether the patient is an adult or a child, it’s clear that occupational therapy has a lot of benefits. However, one of the biggest perks to occupational therapy is the ability to do it at home; in an environment, the patient is most comfortable.
Other benefits include:
- Improved self-esteem
- Better chances at social interaction
- Increased opportunity for communication
- Reduced levels of stress
- Build up of physical strength
- Relearning old skills or learning new skills
- Unique and customized care
Having an occupational therapist that is assigned to your health means you can rely on someone knowing your background and your personal health goals. You aren’t just another number or statistic; you’re someone who is given a second chance.
Your Risk Assessment
So, what will your new patient risk assessment involve? Your occupational therapist will observe you at home, in your environment. Completing simple tasks like brushing your teeth or getting dressed may have become more difficult but some people may not want to say that out loud at a hospital appointment.
Similarly, a therapist can observe children playing at home or outside. Are they able to play without any risk or are adaptations necessary? A risk assessment allows therapists to understand the patient’s needs but also accurately inform family or caregivers on how best they can help the patient.
Setting health goals is important, especially for children. Patients requiring occupational therapy and their family need to know that there is hope. Your occupational therapist will be able to help you set goals and put a plan in place for you to reach them.
It will require everyone working together to learn and practice new skills while continuing to take the patient’s health into consideration. It could also mean seeking funding for new equipment or resources which encourage further independence. For children especially, occupational therapy can help to set long-term goals that may otherwise seem impossible.
An occupational therapist can also become someone you can rely upon through tough times. Not every goal will be easy to reach; in fact, many of them are often very difficult. Your therapist will be able to understand your frustrations and encourage you to continue your work.
Working With an Occupational Therapist
If you’re wondering whether you should work with an occupational therapist to improve your health, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Check with your health insurance to see if occupational therapy is covered.
Occupational therapy is intended to improve the patient’s quality of life and ensure that skills are developed and maintained for increased independence. For many people, occupational therapy is a lifeline. If you want to find out more about home health care, take a browse through our website or get in touch.