Occupational Therapy at Home

If you or your loved one have lost abilities recently or are struggling to maintain daily living skills, occupational therapy at home may help. Don’t let the name confuse you – occupational therapy isn’t necessarily about work (although it can be). Let’s talk about what occupational therapy is, what the benefits are, if Medicare pays for it, how to find the right occupational therapist for you, and more.

What Is Occupational Therapy Care at Home?

Occupational therapy teaches you how to adapt to pain or an illness, injury, or disability that makes it difficult to take care of yourself [1]. Rather than going into an office for an appointment, an occupational therapist can come to your home to help you with occupational therapy where you can get the most benefit from it.

What Types of Services Are Included With Occupational Therapy at Home?

Some of the things an occupational therapist at home may do include:

  • Perform an individualized evaluation to determine goals
  • Make recommendations for adaptive equipment and how to use it
  • Create a customized care plan to improve the ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Provide guidance to caregivers and family members
  • Perform regular outcomes evaluations to ensure goals are being met and adjust the plan as necessary.

Types of Occupational Therapy

Since occupational therapy can help a wide variety of people with very different issues, there are many types of occupational therapy, including [2]:

  • Autism
  • Geriatric
  • Pediatric
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Mental health
  • Driving and community mobility
  • Low vision
  • Feeding, eating, and swallowing
  • Environmental modification
  • School systems specialty
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Occupational Therapy at Home in Vienna, VA by Passion Home Health Solutions

What Are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy at Home?

Occupational therapists help you come up with a therapy plan and set goals made for your needs, limits, or disability. They can train you to improve your motor skill or hand-eye coordination, adapt your movements, or perform tasks in new ways.

“At your first appointment, the OT will assess your needs. They may come to your home or workplace to see what you do and what changes you need to make...They might tell you to move furniture or get an assistive device like a cane or grabber. They can show you how to do daily chores better.”

According to WebMD [1]:

Does Medicare Pay for Occupational Therapy at Home?

Yes, Medicare helps pay for medically necessary outpatient occupational therapy if your doctor certifies you need it [3]. You pay 20% of the Medicare-Approved Amount and the Part B deductible applies.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Some of the amazing benefits of occupational therapy you or your loved one may experience include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved self-esteem
  • More social interaction
  • Enhanced communication
  • Regained strength
  • Keeping or regaining abilities
  • Patient can recover at home where they are more comfortable

How Can I Tell if My Loved One Needs Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy at Home in Vienna, VA by Passion Home Health Solutions

To decide whether your loved one needs occupational therapy, consider whether they would benefit from things like [4]:

  • Learning new ways to perform self-care tasks they have been unable to do themselves
  • A home safety evaluation
  • Improved sleep
  • Re-learning how to drive after a devastating injury or illness
  • Improved coordination
  • Fall prevention
  • Functional mobility

Other signs your loved one may need occupational therapy include:

  • Changed health condition
  • Falls or balance issues
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Memory problems
  • Reduced independence

What to Look for When Hiring an Occupational Therapist

Finding the best occupational therapist for your needs may seem like a daunting task. Here are some things to consider as you conduct your search [5].

Are They Accepting New Clients?

Before diving into a rabbit hole of research on specific occupational therapists, make sure the ones you are considering are currently accepting new clients. If an occupational therapist you think would be a great fit for you isn’t taking new clients, ask if they can put you on a waitlist or if they can recommend another therapist.

Can They Help You With Your Needs?

Every occupational therapist will have a different specialty, experience, and training. Ask all prospective occupational therapists if they have worked with people who have similar challenges as you and what kind of treatment they offered those patients. Find out how often they will want to meet with you to accomplish your goals.

How Much Does it Cost?

Ask for a list of their services and fees, especially if you are paying out of pocket. Have them break down all their fees, including the cost of the initial assessment and follow-up visits. Ask if there are any additional costs you might encounter due to supplies or equipment that might be used during your occupational therapy at home.

How Do You Pay for Services?

Do they accept Medicare or your health insurance? Do you pay at each session, or will they send an invoice later? What payment methods do they accept?

Do You Need a Referral or Other Paperwork?

Your health insurance may require you to get a referral to an occupational therapist from your doctor. The occupational therapist may need you to sign a release form so they can get your medical information from other health professionals involved in your care. Find out if you can read and sign any paperwork before your first appointment to save time.

We can take some of the hassle out of finding the perfect occupational therapist. Contact us today to have us help you find the occupational therapist who will be an ideal fit for your needs.

References

  1. What Is Occupational Therapy? WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/occupational-rehab
  2. William Drake, What Is Occupational Therapy? Better Help, https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-occupational-therapy-and-its-types/
  3. Occupational Therapy, Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/occupational-therapy
  4. Caregiver Corner: Finding an Occupational Therapist for Your Loved One… and You! Parkinson’s Foundation, https://www.parkinson.org/blog/caregiver-corner/finding-occupational-therapist
  5. Considerations When Hiring an Occupational Therapist, College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario, https://www.coto.org/you-and-your-ot/how-to-find-an-ot/considerations-when-hiring-an-occupational-therapist

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