Frequently Asked Questions
Aenean Many residents of New Mexico have questions about occupational therpy and how our services may help to enrich the lives of our clients. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
*an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
*customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
*an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. (AOTA.org)
What should I expect on my first visit?
On your first visit, you can expect your occupational therapist to work with you to complete an occupational-based evaluation to determine what your goals and priorities are, what problems you have, and what you want to be able to do. An occupational profile includes a wholistic approach that includes your history, your performance and routines, roles, as well as objective testing to use for measuring progress.
What types of treatment may I receive?
Occupational Therapy services provided at your home will depend upon your personalized plan of care and goals. Occupational Therapy uses the therapeutic value of daily activities, the environment and personal goals to improve health and well-being. Treatments may include teaching and training in adaptive devices, techniques, and environmental modifications.
How long will my visit last?
Treatment time may vary depending on what your needs and wants are. Generally you can expect your occupational therapy sessions will last around one hour.
How is my progress measured?
Your progress will be measured in a variety of ways depending on your goals. There are objective tests available to quantify abilities, but also observational and self-report tools for you to recognize your own progress and improving abilities. Clients may be re-evaluated anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. Also, optimal communication with your physician will be provided through progress notes or brief reports.
How will you communicate with my physician?
The initial evaluation will be provided to your physician for his signature. As well as progress notes and a discharge summary upon completion of episode of services. Additionally, your therapist may contact the physician by phone if they have a specific concern or question.
Will I need follow-up care?
There are rarely some circumstances of clients who do require continuous, skilled maintenance care that can only be provided by a trained clinician. This is usually not required.
What if I need to see occupational therapy again?
You are important to us. Of course it is our goal that you stay healthy and well as possible. If changes occur that you need more therapy, we will be available as you need us. Our relationship is important, and you can reach out to us for questions, comments, concerns at any time.
Is it okay to ask my doctor about occupational therapy?
Absolutely. Your physician may be able to help explain the benefits of occupational therapy.
Will my insurance cover occupational therapy at my home?
Our services are covered under Medicare. We will help you contact your insurance provider to verify your benefits and costs. Also we do provide personalized wellness programs that are not covered by Medicare or other medical insurance.
About Our Services
Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults over the age of 65. Some people become so afraid of falling (or after an actual fall) that they stop doing activities they used to enjoy. An occupational therapy practitioner uses your daily activities as the basis of therapy to help ensure that you can safely do the things you want to do and need to do. Our fall prevention program may include recommendations for furniture placement and lighting, a medication review, and instruction to safely increase your physical conditioning by focusing on items you enjoy (e.g., gardening or washing the car to increase strength, walking to increase endurance, carrying shopping bags to increase strength).
Dementia results from impaired cognition, due to damage to the brain. Occupational therapists help by enhancing function, promoting relationships and social participation, and finding ways for those with dementia to enjoy life. By providing education and support for the family, care providers, and clients (as they are able to understand), and promoting the person’s strengths, occupational therapists help ensure that those with dementia and their care providers have the support needed to live life to its fullest.
Occupational therapy provides clients with the tools to optimize their home environments relative to individual abilities and promote full participation in daily life activities. Home modifications are a key factor in enabling individuals to “age in place,” for older adults or live in the place or home of choice. Occupational therapy plays a key role in identifying strategies that enable individuals to modify their homes, thereby maximizing their ability to participate safely and securely in daily tasks/activities.
Chronic Medical Conditions
Chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, are the leading causes of death and disability—and the most preventable. Occupational therapy practitioners analyze the demands of activities and evaluate the task between abilities and obstacles.
They may make recommendations on how to conserve energy, reduce or prevent pain, simplify
the activities, and improve the safety and ease of functioning in a given environment. Managing chronic conditions also involves learning specific health-management skills. Occupational therapy practitioners are particularly trained in helping clients manage chronic conditions in a way that fits with existing routines and patterns so changes feel less disruptive and are more likely to be consistently integrated into daily routines.
An estimated 1 in 5 adults are diagnosed annually with arthritis in the United States.
The most common arthritic conditions are osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. These conditions present with symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, morning stiffness, swelling, and fatigue. Occupational therapists treat individuals with arthritic
conditions to increase or preserve mobility so they are able to perform activities in areas such as self-care, home management, work, and leisure and social participation.
Lymphedema is a chronic medical condition caused by reduced transport capacity of the lymphatic system. Complete decongestive therapy (CDT) is the treatment of choice for lymphedema and is performed by a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT). CDT has two phases. Phase I is an intensive program that consists of exercise, compression bandaging, a special massage technique called manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), skin care techniques, and education in self-management. Phase II is a daily home program completed by the client. It consists of lymphatic massage, exercise, skin care, inspecting the limb, wearing compression garments, and nighttime compression, through either self-bandaging or custom garments.
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