April is Occupational Therapy Month!

Did you know that April is National Occupational Therapy Month? What a perfect time for us to share a closer look at this important profession helping to make a difference in the lives of so many. On the American Occupational Therapy Association site (www.aota.org), the theme for Occupational Therapy is “Living Life to its Fullest”. Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants play an integral role in the lives of many. Let’s take a closer look at some of the areas impacting productive aging. Occupational Therapy is provided in a variety of settings. The skilled nursing and rehabilitation setting provides us the opportunity to more closely address the needs of the aging population, as this is the setting that many seniors choose for their rehab services. Our goal is to help the senior return to his or her prior level of living and functional ability as safely and efficiently as possible. We work closely with the patient’s family members to prevent and reduce the possibility of re-hospitalization. Reduced function in thinking, memory and problem-solving can create some challenges for the aging patient. Occupational Therapy addresses the areas of cognition in the following ways:

– Intensive, daily therapy to improve all aspects of function

-Intervention to address attention, problem solving, and perceptual deficits, and to manage impulsive behavior

-Intervention initially to address basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, dressing, grooming, and sequencing tasks. If basic skills are achieved, progression to more difficult tasks may include:

  • preparing meals;
  • managing medication;
  • balancing a checkbook/paying bills;
  • organizing daily routines;
  • doing laundry and light housekeeping;
  • responding to an emergency situation, using the telephone, and engaging in socially appropriate behavior; and
  • preparing for community re-entry, driving, and workplace assessment as appropriate for the client’s level of progress.

To learn more about the role of occupational therapy with cognitive disability in the aging population, please check out the The American Occupational Therapy Association fact sheet entitled Cognition.

Give your OT and COTA a “high five” for making a difference in the lives of so many!! And please BLOG a shout-out to your favorite OT’s and COTA’s!!

One thought on “April is Occupational Therapy Month!

  1. Curtis Merring, Occupational Therapist and Director of Rehab at Wellington Place Living and Rehab in Temple, TX, joined our team one short year ago. He has made a huge impact in the lives of our residents and patients at Wellington Place by incorporating a program to improve the seating and positioning of our long-term care residents. This has resulted in improved overall functioning and comfort of the our residents. When people are positioned optimally, it opens their world for being able to participate more fully in a variety of ways. We functionally see enhancements in the residents’ abilities to socialize, eat and drink, complete grooming. THANK YOU, CURTIS!

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