For The Health of It: What is Occupation Therapy?
Most of us have heard of Physical Therapy but what is Occupation therapy? Generally speaking, it is a medically prescribed skilled therapy that is designed to restore or improve functional abilities that have been impaired by illness or injury. Here at Paradise Skilled Nursing, Occupational Therapists treat clients whose daily living skills have been permanently lost or reduced by illness or injury, to improve the individual's ability to perform those tasks and achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Occupational Therapists facilitate learning of the skills and functions essential for adaptation and productivity to achieve ones maximum potential including the performance of activities of daily living. This very therapy results in the many success stories that allow clients to recover sufficiently to go home or go to a lower level of care.
Occupation Therapy Treatments typically include:
- Teaching new ways to manage daily tasks such as eating, dressing and bathing.
- Increasing a person's physical strength, endurance, balance and mobility when performing daily tasks.
- Comprehensive home evaluations making recommendations for architectural and environmental modifications, equipment needs and modifications in current strategies being used to complete activities of daily living.
- Teaching compensatory techniques for losses of strength, cognition, endurance, vision, sensation, coordination and balance.
- Recommendations and training in the use of adaptive equipment to replace lost function.
- Fabricate or issue splints to prevent deformity, improve function, relieve pain, strengthen weakened muscles or substitute for paralyzed muscles.
- Training to family members and caregivers in safe and effective methods of caring for individuals.
Occupational Therapy Practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on social, emotional and physiological effects of illness and injury. The occupational therapist enters the field with a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree. The Occupational Therapists assistant generally earns an Associates degree. Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings and pass a national examination. Most States also regulate occupational therapy practices.
Who Benefits from Occupational Therapy?
A variety of clients can benefit from Occupational Therapy, including those with:
- Physical limitation following a stroke or heart attack.
- Arthritis, multiple sclerosis or other serious chronic conditions.
- Mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimers, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress.
- Burns, spinal cord injuries or amputations
- Vision or cognitive problems that threaten their ability to drive.
The focus of treatment interventions is on abilities rather than disabilities. Occupational Therapy treats holistically, directing all interventions to enhance the coordination between one's physical, emotional, social, sensory and cognitive systems by involving the client in purposeful, goal directed activity.
Who pays for Occupational Therapy?
Under certain provisions of Medicare, Medi-cal, other federal and private health programs payment is available. Most Health Maintenance organizations (HMO) include some occupational therapy coverage. Because of the ever changing landscape of health care insurance coverage, check with your respective federal, state or private companies for current benefits.
Dr. Ron Brown has administered various heath care facilities for the past thirty years and is best known locally for his development and opening of Country Crest in Oroville in 2002. Currently he oversees facility management of Paradise Skilled Nursing in Paradise and Shadowbrook Health Care in Oroville. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.