By Keri Jaeger, President & CEO, Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice
“Medicine adds days to life, occupational therapy adds life to days.”
For the past 40+ years the American Occupational Therapy Association has been celebrating April as Occupational Therapy month. These compassionate professionals help people of all ages safely recover from or adapt to changes from injury, illness, disability, or aging through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). They work with those recovering from an injury or illness regain skills and also work with aging adults to help them remain independent.
In occupational therapy the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Occupational therapy practitioners take a holistic approach to care, focusing on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.
Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice is proud to have experienced occupational therapists as a vital part of our integrated care team serving our mountain communities. Their work helps a person recovering from an injury prepare to climb a fourteener and helps older adults continue to enjoy treasured moments with their grandchildren.
Mount Evans’ occupational therapists assess a person’s mobility and therapy needs to make sure they can continue healing in the safety, familiarity, and comfort of their own homes. They evaluate what kind of adaptive equipment the person might need and assess the environment to ensure it is safe and make recommendations for equipment and other adaptations if needed. They also take into consideration the support the person has from other caregivers living with (or near) them.
Then they work with the patient and their caregivers to establish realistic benchmarks for progress and write an individualized action plan, revising as needs evolve. The action plan identifies routine tasks that the person will need to function and go about their daily life, such as making sure the patient can get in and out of bed, dress themselves, get food on the table, and get in and out of the shower. While these commonplace tasks may seem routine, when recovering from injury or illness or adapting to disability or cognitive or physical changes from aging, re-learning and adapting these activities can be incredibly valuable to healing. As a grateful patient explains: “The staff from Mount Evans thought of things we never would have thought of … better ways to sleep, better ways to move around the house, better ways to do everything. The staff was a god-send.”
At Mount Evans, we understand the importance of recovering at home and strive to give our patients the therapies, the skills, and most importantly, the confidence to maintain their independence.
Mount Evans invites you, our foothills community, to join with our staff, administration, and board of directors in saying thank you to our Occupational Therapy team—the work you do helps make every day better!