April is National Occupational Therapy month, and this year it marks the 100th year for the American Occupation Therapy Association. So, why is that important to you? It shows the value of occupational therapy to those wanting to be able to age at home. Occupational therapy can actually traced back farther than 100 years, but it still begs the question what actually is occupational therapy and why is it important to our lives or the lives of those we may be caretakers for?
Our lives are made up of occupations – meaningful daily activities. The roles we take on are very different depending on our age and state in life. From the grandparent who loves taking care of grandchildren during the day, to the caregiver who helps their spouse remain independent. Medical conditions, accidents or injuries, and even medical procedures can disrupt our ability to enjoy or even perform these occupations. Occupational therapy integrates rehabilitation processes, prevention awareness, and over all wellness and focuses them to help us reach a goal of being able do what we need and enjoy everyday life. As occupational therapist Julie Raines puts it, “We strive every day to help promote independent function no matter the setting. We focus on the necessary – skills for the job of living."
You might also ask: “How do we know we need occupational therapy?” If we or a family member have been diagnosed with life changing health conditions or even undergone surgery, we all want to remain or get back to independence as quickly as possible. Often these times can leave us with the feeling of “Now what?” Occupational therapy helps to answer that question, and research shows that it can:
- Support independence and safety
- Improve quality of life for those with dementia and their caregivers
- Enhance function through rehabilitation
- Support leisure activities by helping to compensate for chronic conditions
In short, occupational therapy can help you to age at home no matter your health condition, disability, or risk factors. For Julie Raines it’s more than just a job, “It truly is one of the most rewarding opportunities to share someone's life with them and be part of the journey that helps to restore an individual's function!”
The next logical question becomes, where can you receive occupational therapy? Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings – including hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and various health care facilities, and like Freudenthal Home Health, they can come directly to your house. When asked why occupational therapy is such an important piece of the care he offers, Joe Freudenthal stated “Occupational therapy is an integral part of the holistic approach to care that we provide, because it helps our patients regain the ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing and bathing, and is foundational to them living a life that is fulfilling and functional at home.”
The important thing to remember is that you always have a choice when it comes to your health care, especially occupational therapy. Scheduling an appointment to find out what occupational therapy can do to change your life is easy. Simply call Freudenthal Home Health at 816-676-8050 and let our professional staff show you what first-class occupational therapy looks like.
CLICK HERE to download a handy guide for helping your loved one age at home.