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Home Health Care: Occupational Therapy

The term occupation may immediately make you think of work, but occupational therapy also includes home care assistance in the performance of daily tasks such as grooming, housework, making a meal or driving a vehicle. Children with autism or developmental disabilities need occupational therapy to help them develop strength and coordination. Occupational therapy is one of the services many home health care agencies offer their clients.

What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is designed to help people of all ages do the things they want and need to do. Unlike physical therapy, which focuses on improving activity and relieving pain, occupational therapy promotes health through the therapeutic use of daily activities. These might include dressing and grooming routines, feeding oneself, relearning a skill such as writing or learning a new skill to adapt to a permanent disability. In the home health care environment, these services are typically provided in the patient's home; they may be temporary or provided so long as an individual has a disability.

What's Included in Occupational Therapy Services?
The first step in an occupational therapy intervention is a comprehensive individualized assessment. The occupational therapist will evaluate an individual's specific disabilities through talking to and examining the patient and meeting with the family or caregivers. Next, the occupational therapist develops a plan of care to meet the patient's needs and sets specific goals to attain through therapy. Finally, the occupational therapist, patient and caregiver identify the specific outcomes that will determine whether a goal has been achieved. The occupational therapist may also collaborate with other professionals, such as the nurse or physical therapist.

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?
Anyone with a permanent or temporary disability might need occupational therapy. For example, someone who has suffered nerve damage from a broken arm might need occupational therapy to learn to write or use a keyboard again. A person who has had a stroke may need help with basic life activities like grooming, meals or hygiene activities. Children with physical or mental disabilities might require occupational therapy in the form of play to aid physical, emotional and social development. Occupational therapists use a variety of strategies in their work, including art and craft activities, technology to help people learn new skills and exercise to strengthen muscles.

Occupational therapy can make a very big difference in a person's ability to be as independent as possible. Occupational therapy in the home setting lets the patient work under his or her actual living conditions, as opposed to a training set-up that may be very different from the patient's home.

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Jan 9, 2017 Category: Articles Posted by: admin

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