Gain Self-Care Independence Through In-Home Occupational Therapy

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Gain Self-Care Independence Through In-Home Occupational Therapy

For patients with conditions such as developmental delays, chronic mobility limitations, or traumatic brain injuries, self-care tasks and activities of daily living can present a constant challenge. In-home occupational therapy helps these patients improve and independently execute the daily life skills needed for success at home, in the classroom, or in the workplace.

Early OT Helps Children Learn Adaptable Self-Care Strategies

Tasks of grooming and self-care may come easily for some children, but each child develops at their own pace, and may require the focused assistance of an occupational therapist. Children with developmental delays or motor skill impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Cerebral Palsy often find daily self-care activities such as toileting, bathing, brushing teeth, or tying shoes inherently difficult, due to the coordination between brain and body that these activities require.

Occupational therapists are specially trained to modify the traditional way of doing things with creative solutions or helpful tricks for daily self-care activities. For example, an in-home occupational therapist can help a child with sensory processing difficulties learn tactile strategies that increase tolerance levels while performing everyday lifestyle tasks.

An in-home therapy setting allows children to have a helping hand in the environment where they’ll carry out many self-care skills, as they learn to perform grooming skills independently. With in-home occupational therapy, special needs children can also master the skills needed for academic and social settings, such as eating lunch at school, or going to the bathroom without assistance.

Occupational Therapy After Childhood

As patients age, the need for self-care independence becomes an omnipresent concern as the demands of daily life become more challenging. An occupational therapist helps long-term patients navigate the constantly evolving challenges of life, and sets them up for personal and professional success. The scope of OT care at this stage of life may focus on personal hygiene strategies, meal preparation, safety awareness, personal technology usage, exercise, and development of interpersonal skills as patients prepare to enter or rejoin the work force. 

Adults who are facing sudden functional limitations due to trauma, stroke, surgery, Parkinson’s disease, or other chronic disorders, will be able to regain their independence with quality in-home occupational therapy sessions designed to reintroduce lost skills. Whether the condition necessitates short-term or long-term occupational therapy, the right approach will help patients make forward progress toward their goals of self-care independence, right in the comfort of their own home.

The Creative Impact Of Occupational Therapy

The social and emotional side of occupational therapy is an essential part of in-home OT services, and helps patients establish and maintain an identity outside of their functional limitations, cognitive difficulties, or mobility challenges. Occupational therapists can get creative with adaptive strategies that allow patients to resume a sense of normalcy after a medical diagnosis or setback, by helping to provide an outlet for artistic expression, hobbies, and personal interests.

With targeted strategies designed to improve balance, coordination, body awareness, and mobility, occupational therapists can break any activity into separate components that create parts of a whole. The acts of standing, bending, reaching, sorting, and lifting may all be an essential part of a patient’s favorite hobby, and with an occupational therapist’s step-by-step approach, these activities can become possible again. 

Activities as simple as puzzles, as intricate as knitting or painting, or as physical as gardening or biking, all require varying levels of flexibility, agility, and dexterity. And in fact, these hobbies go hand-in-hand with an OT’s goal of improving mobility and self-care independence. The more each patient practices hobbies in their spare time, the more they can strengthen and reinforce the skills gained through their occupational therapy sessions.

When patients feel a sense of enjoyment, pride, and accomplishment as they engage in hobbies, personal interests, or physical activities, they are less likely to experience anxiety and depression, and more likely to improve mental wellness over the long term.

Celebrate Occupational Therapy Month with K&N Rehab, Inc.

April is Occupational Therapy month, and although we celebrate OT progress made all year long, this month allows us to really take a step back and appreciate the amazing work that occupational therapists do for patients of every age and ability. If you are exploring the possibility of in-home occupational therapy for yourself or a loved one, the team at K&N Rehab invites you to reach out to us for further discussion about our in-home therapy services. Through our compassionate and patient-centric OT approach, each patient is encouraged to progress at their own level, while achieving goals of self-care independence that improve the ease of daily living.

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