Occupational Therapy complements Physiotherapy in the healing and improvement of seniors’ quality of life. Occupational Therapists assist with solving problems that interfere with the performance of daily functions, identifying the issues and offering techniques and aides suited to the client’s needs. OTs can also help with the prevention of further problems.
Occupational Therapists apply a holistic view of wellness to help people of all ages and abilities do the things they need and want to do in their everyday lives.
- Self-care – getting dressed, eating, moving around the house
- Being productive – going to work, volunteering, and participating in the community
- Leisure activities – engaging in hobbies, physical and social activities
- Home Safety Assessments – Have you experienced a recent fall or do you feel unsteady on your feet? Falls are the leading cause of serious injuries among older adults and having an Occupational Therapist conduct a home safety assessment is a key way to prevent future falls and injuries. A home safety assessment includes a thorough review of your home to identify hazards and assist with changes to improve safety and convenience.
- Wheelchair and Mobility Aid Assessments – If you are noticing a change in your strength or stability in getting around your home and community, we can assist. After completing a full mobility assessment, we will then make tailored recommendations to enhance safety while maintaining independence.
- Hand Assessments – Occupational Therapists are specifically trained to assess and splint hands. If you are suffering from osteo- or inflammatory arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, swan neck deformities or trigger fingers, we can provide joint protection education, review splinting options, and create custom splints from the comfort of your home.
- Daily Functioning and Engagement Assessments – Whether your goal is to dress and bathe independently or to replant your garden beds, we can support you by exploring and addressing barriers. This assessment includes a review of the tasks and activities you feel have been impeded by your current health status. We will work together to support your engagement in activities that are important to you.
- Equipment Prescription – Your OT can work with you to evaluate your needs and recommend the right type and brand of equipment that best suits your needs. Our OTs are familiar with the types and brands of mobility aids, grab bars, toilet lifts, and other products offered by local home medical equipment suppliers.
- Concierge Shopping – We are also proud to offer a personal concierge shopping service for those clients who are home-bound or do not have local support. Your OT can find the right piece of equipment at the right price, and bring it back to your residence to make sure it works well for you. We can even help you get set up with custom footwear. We do all the running around, so you don’t have to.
At 84 years old, Stella recently fell in her tub. Unfortunately, she broke her hip and needed surgery.
As part of her rehabilitation, her PhysioCare at Home Occupational Therapist (OT) worked with her to regain independence in her activities of daily living, such as going to the bathroom (with a raised toilet seat and grab bars in her bathroom), getting dressed (with adaptive aides to help avoid bending), and problem solving with Stella on how to safely use her shower again (with a hand held shower head, tub bench and grab bar).
The OT also provided suggestions for energy conservation within Stella’s routine, to help prioritize daily activities while lowering her risk of falls. To help Stella’s progress, the OT collaborated with nursing staff on her floor to implement the changes in her care plan to enhance her independence.
For outings with Stella’s family, the OT prescribed a wheelchair that would meet her needs and functional goals.
After 4 weeks of visits from the OT, Stella is now independently using the bathroom, getting dressed without any aides, and enjoying a shower twice a week while sitting on her new bench. She also enjoys dinners out with her family at her favorite restaurant.
(Note: This is a composite story based on the many common situations of clients we have worked with over the past several years.)