O'Connor Expands OT Program
|Helen Russell-Tari, OTR, assists patient Clarence ("Gibby") Gibson with ambulation.|
Occupational therapy assists people of all ages to maximize their independence in performing daily activities, as well as tasks that add to the quality of their lives. In the case of older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes, the occupational therapist (OT) provides the necessary support and training to help them regain the skills necessary for the activities of daily living (ADLs). If they cannot regain their skills, then the OT will teach the individual to modify their techniques, adapt their environment and/or use adaptive equipment to achieve maximum independence.
At O’Connor Hospital, the occupational therapist will be expanding the balance and vestibular therapy programs to include more sensory integration approaches along with the visual therapy program for low vision. Functional evaluations of the senses are available for frequent dizziness, falls, post-concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI), vertigo and changes in hearing or vision. Patients over the age of 65 have a 70 percent chance of having a vertigo experience, and comprehensive treatment is available.
Patients are often referred for problems with hearing, hearing aids, vision and other sensory issues. Patients learn how to use their tools, including hearing aids, glasses and wheelchairs.
For patients who are wheelchair dependent, a pressure mapping program is available to accurately fit the wheelchair and seat system. The program provides a three-dimensional pressure map to develop the highest level of pressure redistribution and behavior training to help the patient learn effective positioning for pressure reduction and the use of assistive technology. The technology is also used for inpatients to help reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers.
Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is also available for patients who have experienced a TBI and offers comprehensive treatment for both cognitive and sensory ailments including fatigue, headaches and double vision.