For many clients, every member of a home health team can be seen as a superhero. Whether they’re nurses, aides, various therapists, or others with a role in helping improve their quality of life, their skills and actions are definitely appreciated.
The team at Accredited Home Care wants our clients and their families to feel this way. We can provide direct services in various tasks to help them continue to live as independently as possible. They can continue with much of their lives, though there may still be some restrictions and direction from their health care provider due to their current medical conditions.
But they don’t have to relocate to an assisted living community – although these types of places are certainly useful for those who may need a higher level of care and greater medical supervision. Many people prefer to not have to move into one unless it’s determined to be medically necessary.
So, they can learn to appreciate the services of home health care, whether it’s on a short-term or longer-term basis. Some may need care for a certain amount of time due to medical needs, some may have it indefinitely and some may require it as part of a palliative care plan.
But whatever the reason or frequency for requiring home health care, it can present a client with a variety of skilled people who are available to help with their health and wellness. It can include regular visits by caregivers, even round-the-clock caregivers if needed. It also can include additional help around the house, everything from meal preparation to light housekeeping.
In addition to offering basic and advanced nursing services, Accredited Home Care also provides the services of a variety of therapists, starting with massage therapists who can help relax sore muscles, reduce pain and help people feel better and sleep better.
It also offers the service of physical therapists, who can help clients regain use of various muscles and limbs that may have been injured due to trauma like an auto collision or a medical condition like stroke. Physical therapists can also build endurance, strengthen muscles and improve overall flexibility.
Occupational therapy is another useful therapy. For those unfamiliar with this type of care, it generally helps people regain certain skills that may have been lost.
For instance, someone who is employed but has an accident and sustains disabling injuries may be able to start working with an occupational therapist to learn certain skills to be able to get back to work.
Occupational therapy isn’t just for those heading back to work. A trained occupational therapist can work with clients to make sure they are able to have or at least gain the right skills to be able to perform daily activities.
These can include:
- Getting out of bed
- Getting in bed
- Grooming (shaving, brushing teeth, combing, etc.)
- Getting dressed (changing from pajamas to daily clothes and vice versa)
- Meal preparation
- General mobility
Other occupational needs
In addition to helping clients accomplish various tasks as part of their daily living needs, occupational therapists can have another important role. They can perform a walk-through of a client’s home to evaluate it for safety reasons.
This can involve visiting each room to look for safety hazards and areas of concern, and making recommendations to improve the overall conditions, making it safe to resume daily activities in that space.
One easy example is the occupational therapist looking at area rugs. He or she may recommend that these be temporarily moved or removed since they increase the possibility of causing someone to trip, lose their balance and possibly fall especially if their cane or walker catches the wrong point.
Since falls can be serious for seniors, especially with those who already have mobility challenges, it’s generally a good idea to take steps to avoid possible sources of stumbling by temporarily removing or moving area rugs.
The kitchen can include hazards like toxic chemicals from cleaning supplies, hard surfaces, and dangerously hot surfaces. There could be obstacles to run into such as counters, chairs, and tables.
Bathrooms have even more potential hazards. Most are nothing but hard, often sharp surfaces. Plus, they can get wet near the bath/shower area, which can add to the danger.
Suggestions from an occupational therapist can include ways to use the bathroom in a safer manner, such as using a shower chair, so you don’t have to stand; putting in handles in the shower/bath to make it easy to get in and out, and a floor mat in the shower and bathroom floor to make it less slippery.
A good resource to learn more about occupational therapy is from the American Occupational Therapy Association, a national organization that provides resources for people who work in this industry as well as people who want to find out more details.
April is official Occupational Therapy Month but people who want to know more don’t have to wait that long. They can visit https://www.aota.org/ to learn more anytime of the year.