Happy OT Month - “Living Life to its Fullest”
The time spent in a skilled nursing facility can be activity-filled and engaging. Through occupational therapy, residents can develop function as well as an increased sense of competency and personal happiness. Occupational therapy enables residents to
“Live Life to its Fullest” in many ways, from helping short-term residents regain the skills they need to return home to enhancing the lives of long-term residents. A skilled nursing facility is a not always a permanent residence–it is a health care facility that provides continuous medical care and therapy. This broad definition of the setting means that a facility’s patients encompass many age groups, diagnoses, and circumstances. The population in skilled nursing facilities has changed. In addition to the traditional long-term population, clients are staying in hospitals for less time, so they are getting fewer therapy services, and many of them now come into a skilled nursing facility to continue their recovery.
Occupational therapy prepares patients to return home to their previous roles as a mom, a grandfather, an employee. In a skilled nursing facility, occupational therapists tailor their approach to each person. It is common for them to help residents develop skills for what are known as “activities of daily living”—self-care tasks such as feeding or dressing. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants provide equipment to assist with these activities, modify the person’s environment to maximize independence, and facilitate participation in the center’s activities. If someone comes to a skilled nursing facility for a short-term stay, an occupational therapist might address activities of daily living and educate him or her on energy conservation and task simplification. An occupational therapist may also evaluate the person’s home for safety before discharge, then recommend and teach the person to use adaptive equipment, such as a shower chair or walker, how to care for themselves safely, and how to pursue regular activities–like cooking or driving–as they continue recovering. An important part of occupational therapy involves working with the client to identify his or her own personal goals.
At Brian Center Southpoint, we have a dynamic team of over ten Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants that have a wide variety of experience and training encompassing a wide variety of conditions. What makes us successful is also having patience, creativity, adaptability, compassion, empathy, and respect for diversity. The Occupational Therapy Department at Brian Center Southpoint will help you return to “Living Life to its Fullest”.