Occupational Therapy In Elderly And Disabled Home Care
Home care services keep elderly and disabled individuals safe and comfortable at home, help them be as self-sufficient as possible, slow mental and physical decline, and help prevent avoidable ER visits and hospitalizations. For example, an aide can spot signs of a fall in the home and work with the person’s physician to address the cause and put a prevention program in place.
Occupational therapy to improve daily living is an essential part of the rehabilitation process following injury or illness. Its holistic approach looks at the person’s health condition, their daily life and important activities, and their environment. It helps them regain independence and learn new ways to complete everyday tasks.
To become an OT, you must have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy or a related field and have completed fieldwork in a hospital, rehabilitation center, psychiatric hospital, school system, community agency, or nursing home. You will also need to be licensed or certified by your state. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists sets minimum standards for education, and many OT programs also follow a country’s national accreditation standards.
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The responsibilities of an OT can vary greatly, depending on the type of disability or illness the patient is suffering from. For instance, if a person has a stroke that leaves them paralyzed on one side and unsteady on their feet, an OT may recommend getting a walker, doing balance exercises, and removing rugs from the home to reduce the risk of falls.
Another common reason to seek out an OT is for someone with a visual impairment. An OT can teach the person how to better use their remaining vision by focusing on their goals and interests, and by using tools such as magnifying glasses and light filters. They can also teach the person how to use a computer or tablet to improve their reading and writing skills, and how to navigate the Internet safely.
If your loved one has a mental health condition, such as depression or dementia, an OT can help them find ways to enjoy hobbies, socialize with others, and feel more confident. They can also advise their family members on how to best help the person and encourage them to take on new responsibilities that might give them a sense of purpose.
Caregivers of older adults can help with the day-to-day needs of an individual, such as bathing, grooming, cooking, and taking medications. They can also accompany seniors to medical appointments, shopping centers, and other community events. They can provide transportation to and from these places, and they can arrange for home care equipment, such as an emergency response system, which allows the user to push a button that summons help in the event of an accident or a fall. They can also help the senior do chores around the house and run errands. Non-medical home care agencies, which are sometimes called companion or companionship agencies, do not require licensure in all states but do have to perform background checks on their caregivers.