Working With An Occupational Therapist To Bring The Best Results To Your Patient
At Pegasus Home Care, we know that being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization fosters success. Our clients come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Additionally, our nurses encompass a wide range of skills and perspectives.
Pegasus in-home nurses in Antelope Valley and elsewhere customize their services to fit individual needs. That can include working with an occupational therapist to bring the best results to their patients. Everything our career home health care nurses do has the goal of keeping individuals independent.
As is true of nearly all medical specialties, occupational therapy (OT) has many facets. In general, however, an occupational therapist teaches individuals how to cope with a disability. Their treatments can also help prevent or lessen the loss of function.
Individuals may have a temporary loss of ability. Or their impairment may be chronic or permanent. Some disabilities are catastrophic, while others are relatively minor.
The Purpose Of Therapy Is To Promote Safety And Independence
Therapists may specialize in specific age groups, from pediatric to geriatric. Regardless of the individual’s age or level of impairment, the therapist establishes goals that fit them. They then work with the patient to achieve those goals and improve their well-being.
An occupational therapist helps individuals with daily activities that they want or need to do. If your patients are retired seniors, they may be hesitant at first. Explain that occupational refers to everyday activities, not career goals.
You may also need to explain the difference between occupational and physical therapists. The former emphasizes being able to do needed tasks. The latter focuses on improving an individual’s range of motion, muscle strength, and endurance.
Your patient may be receiving assistance from both, and there may be an overlap in their services. There can also be an overlap between therapists and your in-home nursing service. Use your care plan to coordinate therapy and nursing.
Occupational Therapy Has Three Parts
OT starts with an assessment or evaluation. Next is determining the goals and treatment plan. The third stage is known as intervention.
Intervention encompasses a variety of techniques customized to fit your patient. These can include adaptation to new ways of functioning, assistive devices, and changes in the surroundings, among others.
Progress is evaluated throughout the treatment, and changes are implemented if necessary. Therapists include cooperation with family members and other healthcare professionals as part of their treatment. Your observations are an essential part of the treatment process from start to finish.
Occupational Therapists Treat Emotional, Mental, And Physical Issues
Individuals with physical disabilities are often the recipients of occupational therapy. However, they aren’t the only ones. The therapists also treat patients with mental health issues.
Your patients who are substance abusers will potentially benefit when you include an occupational therapist on your team. Therapists can also be an important part of assisting depressed patients. OT can also help individuals who have experienced trauma recover.
Benefits Of Geriatric Occupational Therapy
Therapists help individuals of all ages increase their independence. However, one who specializes in geriatric care may be the best choice for most of your patients. Therapists help aging-in-place seniors focus on their abilities rather than what they can no longer do.
For example, the therapist can show individuals how to maintain or improve their:
- Basic motor skills, which include the ability to sit, stand, and walk
- Fine motor skills, which are the coordination of their hands to grasp and manipulate small objects
They may recommend home modifications to improve safety. For example, color coding and improved lighting assist vision-impaired individuals.
The needs of the elderly vary among individuals and as a group. Your in-home care and the services of occupational therapists are tailored to meet each patient’s specific requirements. However, older adults in general receive therapy to help with:
- Arthritis – patients learn different ways to move their hands, enabling them to complete tasks comfortably.
- Cognition – although dementia is progressive, cognitive skills and memory loss can be slowed. Therapists design simplified activities and ways to stimulate the patient’s senses.
- Pain – the therapist first determines the cause of the pain. Their recommendations vary from patient to patient and can include:
- Improving communication
- Pacing their activities
- Reducing muscle tension
- Retraining neuromuscular function
- Safe movement
- Range of Motion – stretching and exercises help patients move with less stiffness and pain.
- Vision – practicing specific eye exercises can improve many ophthalmologic conditions.
Therapists often expect individuals to do “homework” between visits. Your encouragement and support will help your patients comply with instructions. Consulting with the therapist also helps them evaluate the efficacy of their recommendations and whether changes are necessary.
Join Pegasus Home Health And Work For An Industry Leader
Pegasus in-home nurses in Antelope Valley and our other locations care for individuals of all ages. However, many of their patients need assistance from geriatric specialists. Career home health care nurses work with occupational therapists to help increase their patient’s independence.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Additionally, we are an equal opportunity employer. We are hiring nurses who enjoy working one-on-one with patients.