Part of the appeal of receiving home health care is that so many experts in different fields are able to come together to offer assistance, sometimes at a critical time in someone’s life.
That’s one of the goals that Accredited Home Care offers its clients. Whether a client only needs these services for a few months or for a longer duration, they’ll have the same focus on quality from employees with different skills and educational backgrounds.
For instance, the organization has a variety of nurses on staff with different credentials and experience working with clients. We have people who have been in this profession for years and others who are newer but still have received plenty of training to get here.
We also have medical aides who haven’t received a lot of formal training in nursing techniques but they’re happy to help clients with anything they need, including errands, light housekeeping, and mobility assistance.
We can also offer access to a group of therapists who can help offer supplementary care beyond what the nurses and aides can offer. This includes massage therapists who can help relieve aching and sore muscles, help relax people, and promote better sleep. Their visits can be scheduled so they can work optimally with a client’s routine or other events in their life – a massage might feel great after a doctor visit or a chemo treatment. Or if a client is house-bound, a massage can also feel great anytime.
Accredited Home Care also has access to skilled physical therapists who work with clients to rebuild or strengthen muscles that may have been deteriorated over time or damaged due to medical conditions or age. The therapists help with usage, flexibility, strength, and more during their visits. They can offer ‘homework’ in the form of additional exercises patients can do at home in between visits. This can help reinforce what they’ve already learned and also provide even more assistance with pain management.
Medical social workers are available, who are happy to talk to clients and their families about their concerns and discuss some of the financial implications of what they might be going through. They also can give a good perspective on some of the social and emotional concerns.
Speech therapists can be available to help people who may have lost their ability to speak. They can also help with speech and language disorders or swallowing problems.
One of the more interesting and useful positions available to our clients is that of an occupational therapist.
The duties of this type of therapy include helping clients learn various tasks so they can live independently.
While the position sounds like it should be geared to teaching people the right skills so they can get back to work, that isn’t always the case.
Basically, an occupational therapist can teach all sorts of skills to help others adapt and make sure they have the right tools to live on their own safely and securely and not need to have a full-time caregiver or relocate to a location that offers higher levels of care.
For instance, an occupational therapist can teach a client tasks such as:
- Getting in and out of bed by themselves
- Grooming/hygiene, such as shaving or teeth brushing
- Changing clothes at the start or end of the day
- Walking with a cane or walker
- Cooking a meal
A client may have once learned some of these skills but lost them due to medical conditions or other life changes. Or they may never have learned them all.
Occupational therapists can also offer inspections of a client’s home to identify points that are less safe and suggest ways to make them safer and easier to get around.
For instance, they may see area rugs and suggest that they should be moved since they are likely to cause someone to lose their balance with a cane or walker. They can also look in different rooms for possible hazards.
Kitchens, for instance, have sharp corners and appliances that can hurt someone if they fall into them. Clients also could risk burning themselves or causing a fire if they’re unfamiliar with controls of the stove or oven.
The bathrooms also could be hazardous, with hard surfaces that can also become slippery when wet. An occupational therapist may offer recommendations such as adding handles to make it easier to get in and out of the shower or a shower seat.
They could also change their toilet so someone doesn’t have to bend as far if they have mobility challenges.
There are plenty of resources online to learn more about the importance of occupational therapists. The American Occupational Therapy Association or AOTA is a good source to learn about educational opportunities, including conferences, publications, and general advice about the industry.
It also shares info about OT Month, which technically takes place in April at the association’s annual conference, but can be celebrated all year. It’s a time to promote the profession and encourage others to learn more about it or if they can benefit from this therapy.