What is Home Health Care Occupational Therapy?
Home Occupational therapy is a specialized branch of health care that helps individuals belonging to all age groups who suffer from various physical, sensory, and cognitive problems. This therapy helps in regaining complete independence in all walks of life.
Occupational therapists are specialized individuals who provide help in overcoming various types of barriers that can affect any subject’s physical, emotional and social requirements. These specialists make use of day-to-day activities, various forms of exercises, and other types of therapies. They help children with disabilities to play, help in improving their academic performance in school and also, provide help in their everyday activities. This helps in boosting their self-esteem along with encouraging a sense of accomplishment. They motivate the children in such a way that improves their fine motor skills and helps them in grasping and releasing things and also, help in developing good hand-writing or computer typing skills, they help in Improving the eye to hand coordination which enables them to play or to develop necessary skills. Home health occupational therapists encourage the children to learn basic life skills such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and self-feeding along with the development of social skills by management of frustration and/or anger. They make use of certain specialized equipment for helping these children build their independence. This equipment includes wheelchairs, various types of splints, equipment that help in bathing and dressing, and various types of communication aids.
Academic and License Requirements
Any occupational therapist requires time as well as effort for achieving professional success. There are certain specific types of behaviors as well as attributes that are required for a successful career in this profession. These include a) Strong communication as well as interpersonal skills b) Effectiveness in using one’s time as well as resources c) One’s ability to use constructive criticism d) One should have excellent skills for solving problems and e) Using one’s critical skills for thinking f) Autonomy in making independent healthcare decisions.
There are two types of occupational practices:
a) Occupational therapist: This is a four-year duration bachelor’s degree in related fields like biology, psychology, or health sciences and a master-level degree program from an accredited occupational therapy learning course.
b) Occupational therapist assistant: This is an associate degree from an accredited occupational therapy program. These trained individuals are capable of carrying out various treatment plans that have been developed by an Occupational Therapist but are not qualified themselves for performing any patient evaluation.
Both occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants supervise various programs related to fieldwork and must also pass a national-level certification exam. All occupational therapists, as well as associates, have to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Both the occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must be licensed. Licensure is an important step as it underlines the basic requirement that a professional occupational therapist or assistant meet a minimum standard of training as well as experience for providing certain types of services.
There are certain main requirements for occupational therapist and these are 1) One has to be graduated from an accredited education program 2) There are requirements for fieldwork completion 3) One has to pass certification examination 4) Initial application procedure for obtaining a license should be completed whether for practicing in a single state or multiple states and 4) Certification to be obtained after completion of the final examination.
All these requirements for obtaining a license or degrees in occupational therapy vary from state to state. All state regulatory agencies issue licenses after receiving all required documents. Recently passed-out graduates of occupational therapy are allowed to practice on temporary or limited permit/license which are provided after specific requirements of supervision for certification. This temporary license duration may be held for a variable period. If a person does not clear the exam, he or she might lose their temporary license and may not be allowed to practice till the final exam is cleared.
Who Might Need Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapists are specially required for children who suffer from a variety of conditions such as birth injuries and defects, disorders associated with the processing of sensory sensations, those who have suffered from traumatic injuries to the brain and/or spinal cord, those who suffer from various problems associated with learning, visual defects, autism, any mental health issues, behavioral problems, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, those who are suffering from fractured bones or any injuries related to orthopedics, those with delay in achieving developmental milestones, post-surgical care, burn injuries, spina bifida, amputations, any type of malignancy or cancer, severe injuries to extremities, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and various chronic diseases.
An occupational therapist provides a wholesome approach towards facilitating a person’s participation in routine activities that are affected due to disease. There are three agendas for any occupational therapist a) Promotion of wellness b) Rehabilitation and c) Habilitation. This approach supports a person’s well-being in every aspect of life which may include social, physical, emotional, and occupational.
How Do Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Differ?
Physical therapists are those experts who deal with movements that help one in optimization of the quality of life using various exercises, personal care, and self-education. These therapists also act as problem solvers with passion regarding the welfare of their patients. Physical therapists work up on restoring one’s ability for movement, decreasing pain, and increasing the motor skills, which specially, are developed during childhood and cause improvement in limb movements along with coordination.
These specialists work along with patients who are recovering from any injury that impacts these skills. They work on rehabilitation as well as preventing further injury as both functionality and absence of pain during movement are required for improving quality of life.
On the other hand, Occupational physical therapist work by helping in adaptation, modification, and introducing changes in the daily life activities of an individual. These therapists help the patient by making alterations in various day-to-day activities, making alterations in environment or skills especially, the fine motor skills like picking a tooth-brush and brushing teeth, eating by using a fork and knife, getting dressed-up, using a phone, and driving. For patients who are suffering from mental health issues, an occupational therapist help in improving skills by using positive strategies for coping with their disabilities.
Both physical and occupational therap help in improving a person’s quality of life, however, there are certain differences as outlined below:
Physical therapy aids in improving strength, range of movements of joints, endurance, motor skills such as movement of muscles and reducing pain while Occupational therapy improvises a person’s fine motor skills that are related to small muscular movements, visual and perceptual skills, cognitive or thinking skills and processing problems associated with sensory perception.
How Can We Find an Occupational Therapist?
One can search for an occupational therapist after Doctor’s referral, through a school nurse or any counselor who can recommend an appropriate person based upon one’s specific needs or requirements. Additionally, hospital services can be contacted for appropriate therapist referrals or consultation.
Ten Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Elderly
For elderly people who require occupational therapy, the main focus is to continue with their normal lives i.e., simple activities like bathing, putting on clothes, and going to the toilet. These services are required for senior people who suffer from conditions like diabetes-related numbness of feet or limitation in mobility due to osteoarthritis.
Employing various training sessions, occupational therapists teach seniors continuation with their lives post-retirement.
They help these elder patients to become independent and happy.
They collaborate with seniors, their families, and friends to help in realizing their personal goals.
Monitoring of healthy eating habits is important as elders may develop erratic eating schedules. Thus, an occupational therapist helps in formulating a diet plan.
They may recommend physical therapy or help in improving home surroundings especially for those with visual impairment.
A good occupational therapy for elderly helps in collaborating group discussions or activities to promote necessary skills.
They act by promoting emotional and physical independence.
They help the elders to opt for alternative mechanisms if planned therapy is not working.
They help in maintaining a dynamic relationship with family members and peers by involvement in various activities.
Home Health Program that covers occupational therapy
Home health care provider along with occupational therapy can be combined if the subject is more prone to injuries or if they are uncomfortable with a hospital environment especially for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, a personally directed program can be devised for ensuring successful rehabilitation.
Centric Healthcare Unique Occupational Therapy Services
Our unique occupational services include walking and moving safely around the home without falling, increase in strength and agility, conserving energy while performing bodily movements, enhancing memory as well as cognitive abilities, performing daily activities, establishing a customized home exercise program, Instructing for using assisting devices and designing safe leisurely activities at home.