The Basics of Occupational Therapy and Why It is Helpful for Home Health Patients

February 25, 2017 Published by

Occupational therapy represents a growing discipline in recuperative medicine. While other medical disciplines focus upon the treatment of an injury or a condition, occupational therapy puts the overall comforts and concerns of the patient first. It is a deeply supportive practice, which is particularly popular in the home health setting, where patient mobility is often a concern.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy in a Home Health Setting
The unique approach of occupational therapy is often cited for its positive impact on the lives of children who require recuperative therapy. Such patients benefit from the acquisition of new life skills and abilities during the course of their recovery, leading to an increase in their quality of life. For all of the same reasons, adult patients in all settings, including home health, experience similar benefits resulting from adding occupational therapy to their daily routine. Adult home health care patients¬† are able to maintain and improve existing skills which might otherwise deteriorate through lack of use, particularly over the course of an extended period of time. This is particularly true for elderly patients, who frequently wind up needing to recovery from the recuperative process itself, and often fail to return to their former quality of life. The reasons for this may be preventable, through an occupational focus on a patient’s needs.

The Importance of a Positive Atmosphere for Occupational Therapy
Many patients find the restrictions of receiving medical care at home to be stifling, and a practice which takes their preferences into account has gained a strong following as a result. Occupational therapy does not ignore a patient’s specific healthcare requirements: instead, it focuses upon the adaptation of existing aspects of their lives. These might be things like hobbies and routine daily activities, which can be adapted to serve a therapeutic function. Through this kind of innovation, occupational therapy in a home health setting supports a positive frame of mind. This reduces the stress commonly experienced by patients with mobility issues, and is demonstrably beneficial with regard to overall wellness.

occupational therapy is good for home health patients with mobility issues.

Encouraging Personal Growth Through Occupational Therapy
People rarely think of health or medical issues as being an opportunity for personal growth, which is certainly understandable; those who are undergoing long-term therapeutic treatment have other things on their mind. It merits noting that, by encouraging productivity and supporting a patient’s regular activity level, OT often encourages patients to expand upon their horizons. Patients try new activities or pick up previously discarded hobbies and pastimes. This addresses a frequently overlooked issue whereby elderly patients, who often reduce their activity level prior to seeking medical treatment are inclined to resume their reduced level of activity once they are in a home health setting. It is not unknown for home health patients to find themselves enjoying entirely new hobbies after undergoing OT.

For More Information About Occupational Therapy
Further reading is available on the subject. In addition to the resources already linked, the Mayo Clinic offers expansive online resources, as well as training in the field. WebMD also offers some excellent insights into the basics of OT.  Here at Blossom Ridge Home Health and Hospice we pride ourselves on the wonderful work of our occupational therapists. Thank you to our OTs for all they do!