The journey to independence after an illness or surgery presents many different challenges in everyday life. A stroke victim may not be capable of buttoning their shirt or brushing their teeth while a patient recovering from a hip replacement struggles with getting from the bed to the chair and back again. This is when occupational therapy becomes a solution for patients looking to regain important life supporting skills, improve independence and get back to their daily life.
“Occupational therapists focus on ‘doing’ whatever activities are meaningful to the individual,” said Nancy Bagwell, area director of operations, Peninsula Home Care. “The purpose of OT is to help people get beyond problems to the solutions that assure healthy, more independent living. These solutions may be adaptations for how to do a task; changes to the surroundings or helping individuals alter their own behaviors.”
“We teach our patients about energy conservation, like sitting down in a chair to clean or even vacuum,” said Miranda Wood, Peninsula Home Care certified occupation therapy assistant. Working in the home is the perfect place for occupational therapy because we see first-hand what each patient struggles with and collaborate with them and adapt their surroundings to meet their everyday functional needs.”
Working with patients one-on-one Miranda found that many of her patients struggled with being able to button their shirts and pants. She built a small gripping tool and gave them to the patients with arthritis or limited use of their fingers and hands. Just another adaptation to allow independence in daily living.
April is Occupational Therapy (OT) month, and Peninsula Home Care (PHC), a leading, award winning home health care company, is focused on helping patients get back to their active lives through Occupational Therapy. With the term occupation in the title, people easily confuse what occupational therapy means. Think of it this way — One’s occupation can be defined as the way in which we occupy our time. It can be divided into three categories of activities in which we take part daily:
- Self-care – sleeping, eating, grooming, dressing and toileting
- Work – effort that is exerted to do or make something or perform a task
- Leisure – free, unoccupied time in which one chooses to do something they enjoy (hobby, TV, socializing, sports, reading, writing, listening to music, travel, etc.)
For more information on Occupational Therapy services and for more resources about home care decisions, please visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.
Peninsula Home Care is based in Salisbury, Maryland, and ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 39,000 patients on Delmarva and was designated as a Peninsula Regional Medical Center preferred home care provider in 2017.