Benefits of our Occupational Therapy program
Comprehensive evaluation of upper extremity strength, fine motor and gross motor coordination, activities of daily living as well as instrumental activities of daily living, sensory, cognitive functioning, and perceptual functioning.
Compassionate 1:1 therapeutic intervention.
Develop strengthening program to address your individual needs.
Teach techniques to improve independent functioning in all areas.
Teach energy conservation techniques.
Reiki to decrease pain and anxiety.
Develop adaptive strategies using equipment or environmental changes to improve independence and prevent falls.
Provide custom made splints.
Reassessments will be performed at regular intervals to monitor progress to achieve your goals.
Fall prevention through use of adaptive equipment recommendations, environmental adaptations/home safety, and increase gross motor coordination and strength.
Physical Modalities include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Moist heat / ice
- Manual / hands on therapy:
- Soft tissue mobilizations (read more below)
- Deep friction massage
- Manual stretching
- Joint mobilization
Fine motor coordination
Fine Motor Coordination (or dexterity) is the coordination of the muscles of the hand and forearm, involving the synchronization of hands and fingers and the eyes. Diagnoses such as arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s, muscular sclerosis, and cerebral palsy, can make opening bottles, managing buttons, zippers, and coins, using a keyboard, hobbies/crafts, and putting on jewelry difficult due to poor fine motor coordination. Occupational therapy will design treatment strategies to regain fine motor skills to be independent with these tasks.
Gross Motor Coordination
involves those which require whole body movement, and which involve the large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table. Diagnoses such as Parkinson’s, Muscular sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, head trauma, and generalized weakness effect large muscle groups making performing daily activities difficult. Occupational Therapy will focus treatment to address these muscles to increase independence with activities of daily living and prevent falls.
Activities of Daily Living
The Activities of Daily Living are the series of basic activities you perform in order to care for your basic needs enabling you to be independent in your home. There are 5 basic categories which include:
- Personal hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care
- Dressing – the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress/undress oneself
- Eating – the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food
- Maintaining continence – both the mental and physical capacity to use a restroom, including the ability to get on and off the toilet and cleaning oneself
- Transferring/Mobility- moving oneself from seated to standing, getting in and out of bed, and the ability to walk independently from one location to another.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living are actions that are important to being able to perform above basic needs to be able to live independently in the community. Examples of IADLs include:
- Basic communication skills – such as using a regular phone, mobile phone, email, or the Internet.
- Transportation – either by driving oneself, arranging rides, or the ability to use public transportation.
- Meal preparation – meal planning, cooking, clean up, storage, and the ability to safely use kitchen equipment and utensils.
- Shopping – the ability to make appropriate food and clothing purchase decisions.
- Housework – doing laundry, washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming, and maintaining a hygienic place of residence.
- Managing medications – taking accurate dosages at the appropriate times, managing re-fills, and avoiding conflicts.
- Managing personal finances – operating within a budget, writing checks, paying bills, and avoiding scams.
Occupational Therapist are specially trained to address your needs in any of these areas for you to achieve independence and confidence.
Post-concussion syndrome/traumatic brain injury
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can occur while playing a sport, after a fall, or an event that involves anything that strikes or vigorously shakes your head. A concussion is when your brain function has been affected. When you have a concussion you may experience headaches, decreased ability to concentrate, decreased memory, change in balance, coordination, and vision. Concussions effect are usually temporary but, each concussion’s affects build on the previous one, therefore, even a mild concussion can cause cognitive deficits. Post-concussion syndrome is when the effects of the concussion continue for weeks and months effecting daily functioning. Occupational therapist will evaluate cognitive, perceptual, balance, and coordination and develop a treatment plan to regain independent functioning.
As we age, we tend to accept the loss of memory as part of the aging process. Maintaining and improving cognitive functioning is possible even with the diagnosis of dementia. The brain responds to challenges, novel experiences, and exercise by developing more neuro pathways. Occupational therapist will perform evaluation of all aspects of cognitive functioning to determine a plan of care to increase mental awareness, memory, and problem solving.
Perceptual functioning involves your ability to make sense of the multiple sensory stimulation that naturally occurs in your life. Our ability to recognize, discriminate, and attend to a variety of sensory input from our environment and our bodies to accomplish tasks and to feel secure and to know where we are in space. It is a highly complex system that we take for granted when it is regulated but, when someone experiences a disruption of this system due to illness or injury, it can have devastating effects on your independence. Occupational therapist will address your needs in this area and help you achieve more regulation in order to regain independence.
Reiki is using the universal life force energy to alleviate stress from the body to enable the body’s own natural healing abilities to restore balance to the mind, body and spirit. Diane Gubisch, PhD, OTR/L is a USUI and KARUNA Reiki Master/Teacher for over 20 years, providing Reiki in all aspects of her Occupational Therapy practice. Reiki has been provided to those seeking balance for increasing health and vitality. It is a gentle hands on approach to reducing the effects of stress in our daily lives. Reiki has assisted those who are beginning life and for those at the end of life. Reiki assist us with being present with ourselves without fear. Reiki allows us to be still and to be filled with the Universal Life Force open to us all. Reiki teaches us that we are more than capable of accepting life as it is and compassionately moving forward towards what is right for us at this time.
For more information on Occupational Therapy click here