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We have learned a lot about our specific types of therapies here at Waunakee Manor. They are all essential in providing the best care we possibly can to our community members. In this post, I’d like to highlight the last piece of our diverse care puzzle that we haven’t covered in this series: occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy incorporates functional mobility and Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) to facilitate independence during rehabilitation. Occupational therapists work with patients to help develop, improve, and maintain functional skills in order to promote independence. Functional mobility encompasses one’s ability to move and ambulate, while functional skills consist of smaller movements performed with the hands, wrists, feet, and other more localized muscle groups used to perform everyday tasks. A licensed therapist or certified occupational therapy assistant will administer and oversee these activities, which will differ between types of care. This depends on whether you or your loved one lives in a Skilled Nursing or Assisted Living community along with many other factors.

Some general activities and ADLs performed as part of occupational therapy consist of:

  • Grooming, showering, and dressing – the ability to take care of yourself is essential to independence and rehabilitation.
  • Sitting and balancing – this is an integral part of our occupational therapy at Waunakee Manor. Good sitting balance is essential to sitting at the edge of a bed/chair to dress, to sit in a chair and eat, or to sit in a chair for any activity. These activities assist with core skills that help get our community members back to where they want to be.
  • Interacting with everyday objects and items that are used in your daily life – these small tasks can seem basic but are extremely important. Simple actions such as holding a spoon or picking up a book can help retrain and strengthen the body.
  • Use of adaptive equipment and assistive devices – these skills are crucial for maintaining one’s health and wellness while managing day-to-day living.
  • Cooking and eating – a crucial area of occupational therapy, and, like many of our rehab programs, it overlaps with other disciplines, such as speech therapy.
  • Positioning for rest and sleep – an often overlooked part of occupational therapy; these activities are just as important as everything above.
  • Strategies for adapting to everyday life – these can include adaptations and compensatory techniques for daily routine, fall prevention techniques, contracture management, and other skills to maximize daily health and safety, ultimately improving independence.

So, while those are some practices and objectives that are incorporated into occupational therapy, when might you or your loved one need occupational therapy? Like physical therapy, occupational therapy may be required after significant health incidents, injuries, or medical procedures.

You or your loved one may require occupational therapy:

  • After a neurological event, such as a stroke, progression of Parkinson’s disease, or MS.
  • After upper extremity injuries, such as injuries to fingers, hands, wrists, or other smaller muscle groups.
  • When struggling with daily activities in a way that limits independence.
  • After surgeries or other chronic pain treatments for things like arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuffs, or other similar issues.
  • To assist you with additional modes and types of rehabilitation.
  • To help you cope with Alzheimer’s and dementia or other cognitive difficulties due to aging.
  • For many other common issues that arise with aging.

As with our other therapies, sometimes our bodies simply require a bit of extra work as we get older, and we are here to help out with that.

Occupational therapy can:

  • Allow individuals to manage their day-to-day life in a rewarding way that empowers them to live more independently.
  • Increase community members’ independence, allowing them to gain a sense of confidence in their day-to-day life tasks. Even a small improvement in self-sustainability can do wonders for self-perception and confidence.
  • Help relieve chronic pain and other issues by exercising muscles and joints that require daily use.
  • Help with strength and endurance for performing everyday tasks.
  • Improve mental health and cognitive well-being. Occupational therapy can also provide positive outcomes for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Although things may change due to injury or a significant health event, Waunakee Manor occupational therapists are confident we can work together to help you get the most out of your daily routine while remaining as safe as possible. Our goal is to get you back to being as independent as you can be.

So, why are we qualified to be the ones who help you or your loved one regain that independence…

We See The Whole Picture!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our in-house therapy team brings a commitment and consistency not experienced in every long-term care community.

Seeing the full scope of your loved one’s care is what sets us apart and allows our team to truly help you and your loved one. With these diverse services and our in-house therapy, we can ensure continuity of care and consistency of treatment.

Most importantly, our team isn’t going anywhere. Some of us have been here for over 30 years! Our longevity can help you and your loved one rest easy. Knowing that you will have the same person and team caring for you or your loved one every step of the way, year after year, that’s something special. But at Waunakee Manor, that’s just what we do every day.

We are here for you…

This wraps up our tour of physical, speech, and occupational therapy at Waunakee Manor. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this significant part of our community! Be sure to check out our other pieces on physical and speech therapy.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions about our therapies or anything else. We are here to walk you through these complex topics and ensure everyone understands how our therapy team contributes to creating the healthiest and safest possible community for those we see every day. Send us a message anytime.