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Occupational Therapy Month: Recognizing quality services from exceptional providers

MRH occupational therapists explain the importance of OT and who it can benefit

Sponsored content by Memorial Regional Health.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month — a great opportunity to recognize the achievements and contributions of these valued health professionals in the community.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across their lifespan do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities. The goal of an occupational therapist (OT) is to enable people of all ages to live their lives to the fullest by helping them work through an injury, illness or disability that limits their full function.



 

Susan Jones, occupational therapist at Memorial Regional Health, often uses an analogy by Katie Mary, occupational therapist and member of the Occupational Therapy Association, to explain OT to others. Think of a locked door in front of you that has no key. On the other side of the door is everything that makes you happy — playing with your kids, going for a walk, freely moving around your house. Some individuals naturally have that “key” and can walk through that door themselves; however, for those who are unable, an OT helps them find that key and find their path to success.

“OT Month allows us to let our professional attributes shine,” she said.



Who benefits from occupational therapy?

Occupational therapists work with pediatric, adult and geriatric patients. According to Jones, OTs who work with adults tend to focus more on self-care and home safety, and pediatric OTs work on all the activities of a child, ranging from play to feeding.

Leanne Heath, an occupational therapist at MRH, said adult and geriatric OT services can be helpful for those who are experiencing a decline in their ability to care for themselves at home. Patients she works with in the hospital setting are often recovering from a specific injury or surgery, such as a broken leg or knee replacement. They might also be recovering from another health event, such as a recent stroke, fall at home or increased weakness from an illness.

“Generally, we can provide services to anyone who is having increased difficulty with self-care at home, such as toileting, bathing, dressing, cooking or completing other important day-to-day tasks,” she said. “The goal is to make the transition of returning home from the hospital easier and safer.”

A nurse helps a patient out of bed. (Getty Images)

For home health OT outside of the hospital setting, the same services are offered but within the patient’s household. Since the OT is working with the patient directly in their home, they can make more specific suggestions for home modifications to increase safety, such as recommendations for a shower chair or grabbers.

“Home health OT is most helpful when a patient is ready to safely transition home, whether that be alone or with the assistance of family or caregivers,” she said.

Recognizing the OTs at MRH

MRH is proud to have OTs on staff who work with patients in a meaningful way and is taking this month to celebrate the achievements of our staff and the impact they have on their patients.

“Our team of occupational therapists at MRH are knowledgeable, compassionate and caring patient advocates who bring years of experience in the care that they provide,” Jones said.

The American Occupational Therapy Association’s slogan for this year’s OT month is “Occupational Therapy: Passion, Purpose, Possibility.” That slogan resonates with Jones and her team, who always work to ensure their patients are making strides every day.

“At MRH, we are passionate about serving this community,” Jones concluded. “Our purpose is to provide the best possible research-driven care. We want every patient and family to know there is always a possibility in the gravest of situations. Our team is always here with passion, purpose and possibility.”

OT Care at Memorial Regional Health

If you are seeking local occupational therapy care, Memorial Regional Health provides full-spectrum, comprehensive OT solutions that help people adapt to changes from progressive diseases, maintain independence, cope with general aging and recover after stroke or surgery. MRH occupational therapists also train family members on how to best support their loved ones.

For more information, go to memorialregionalhealth.com/healthcare-services/occupational-therapy or call 970-824-5992.


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