“You help people who don’t like their jobs?”
“What is occupational therapy?”
“Why do you work with older people if most of them are already retired?”
“What can you help me with, I don’t work anymore?”
These are questions I have heard for years from friends, family and clients. When I recently moved from New Jersey to New York, I also transitioned from a sub-acute rehab setting to home care. That’s when even more of my friends and family members didn’t understand what it is I do on a daily basis.
The attached article by Carolyn Sithong MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy and Home Modification: 5 Domains to Consider provides a strong explanation of what exactly occupational therapy in the home setting does and can do for all clients. The author discusses the definition of occupation and how it can be anything from ADLs to leisure activities to work. One’s occupation can be defined as any role that the client has taken on and our role as the therapist is to understand how their performance patterns, skills and environment affect these roles so they can get back to doing what is most important to them. During my transition from a sub-acute rehab setting one of the aspects I have enjoyed the most about home care is that you have the ability to actually see your patient’s home environment and can walk them through real-life situations in comparison to the more simulated environment of a rehab.
“Disability does not arise from disease, injury, or aging. Disability stems from inaccessible environments.” (Sithong 2019) Being able to problem solve with my clients and help them achieve their highest level of function in their own environment is something truly special about home care.