A Typical Visit with a Nursing Home OT

nursing homesKnow what to expect from the occupational therapy program at your nursing home.

Nursing homes are much more than large facilities with private rooms and on-call nurses. Nursing homes today offer an array of services that aging individuals commonly require, such as rehabilitation care, foot care, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Occupational therapy (OT) is a service aimed at providing necessary adaptations and training to help individuals engage in meaningful daily activities as independently as possible. As you might imagine, it's a service that makes a world of difference for nursing home residents.

Meeting with Your Nursing Home's OT

All residents at nursing homes receive occupational therapy at some point during their stay. Whether it is during admittance, when the staff assesses needs and makes care plans, during a change in health status, or after a medical emergency, nursing home residents almost universally benefit from OT care.

Typical occupational therapy appointments inside nursing homes last between 45 and 60 minutes. They often take place inside the resident's room, or in another area within the nursing home that she frequents. The idea is for the OT to get a feel for how your loved one functions physically in her regular environment. That way he'll be sure to make recommendations that bring the most benefit with the least amount of hassle.

Regular OT Care at Nursing Homes

Typically, occupational therapists will work with a nursing home resident when he first enters the facility to assess his needs and provide him with training and assistance that will enable him to live a more productive life. In addition, OTs at nursing homes will often see patients at different points during their stay to offer additional aids or recommend movement to a different type of walker or wheelchair.

OT Care for Rehabilitation

OTs provide in-depth care in the rehabilitation wing of many nursing homes. These wings, also called transitory care units, house patients recovering from falls, strokes and other debilitating medical problems. Sometimes nursing home residents suffer fractured bones and need physical therapy as well as occupational therapy to recover. In cases like these, an OT will meet with the nursing home resident three to six times per week, working on new skills so she can return to her normal wing as quickly as possible.

Finding Nursing Homes with Good OT Programs

If you know your loved one could benefit from a living arrangement with built-in occupational therapy and the adaptive equipment OTs provide, you'll want to make sure you search for nursing homes with reputable OT programs. And since a nursing home's size is not a reliable measure of the effectiveness of its service programs, you'll need inside information to find a good fit.

Thankfully, our elder care advisors are standing by to help you find that perfect-fit nursing home, free of charge. Just call the toll-free number at the top of this page and we'll help you find a nursing home in your area that meets your needs and fits your budget.