Occupational Therapy: Getting You Back to Every Day Life!

Today, as increasing numbers of post-hospital patients complete their recovery in the comfort of Post-Acute Care (PAC) Centers, they are experiencing the value and benefits of Occupational Therapy services. Occupational therapy is a very important component of the overall recovery and rehabilitation process, and assists individuals in returning to the things they enjoy doing most in life.

Kristi Dougherty, RN, BSN, MSM, MBA, Administrator of Vernon Manor Health Care Center, says, “The primary goal of our Recover Right Post-Hospital Rehabilitation program is to ensure that each patient enjoys a smooth, safe transition home. To achieve this result, we utilize a multidisciplinary care team consisting of specially trained physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, recreational therapists and nutrition specialists. Together, they develop and implement uniquely personalized rehabilitation plans for each individual based on their specific recovery needs.”

“These plans are designed to address and resolve individual needs and delivered on a one-on-one basis, focusing on measurable outcomes for our patients. Among the most important contributors to the successful recovery of our patients are our highly trained and certified occupational therapists."

What Is Occupational Therapy?

According to The American Occupational Therapy Association, “Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people to regain the skills necessary for them to continue to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (also referred to as “occupations”). Occupational therapy practitioners ask, ‘What matters to you?’, not, ‘What's the matter with you?’"

There is confusion sometimes over what occupational therapists (OTs) do and how they differ from physical therapists (PTs) in their work. Generally, physical therapists use exercise purely for exercise's sake to increase strength, range of motion, and particular body and muscle movements in order to achieve the outcome of increased function and mobility. Occupational therapists have the same goal in mind (i.e. increasing patients’ function and independence), but they use their expertise to enable patients to perform specific "functional activities" that are highly important to their lifestyles, such as playing golf, climbing stairs or performing certain work-related tasks.

In this instance, the term “occupational” refers to the various ways that patients like to spend their time, whether it is paid or unpaid, work-related or just for fun. This includes anything that gives patients purpose in life and enables them to function to the best of their ability in important daily activities.

Occupational therapists must have a master’s degree for entry-level practice, and occupational therapy assistants must have an associate’s degree. Both must pass a rigorous certification exam.

Providing Comprehensive Recovery Services

Occupational therapists are engaged in providing a wide range of recovery services. These include helping people recovering from illness, injury and surgery to regain previous abilities and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive challenges. 

Occupational therapists have a “holistic” perspective, in which they focus not only on improving patient’s abilities to perform certain tasks, but also on adapting the home environment to fit the patients’ abilities upon their return home. At leading Post-Hospital Rehabilitation centers such Vernon Manor, patients and their supporting family members are considered an integral and valuable part of the recovery-planning process.

Occupational therapy services are comprehensive and respond to the patient’s needs during recovery at the rehabilitation center and after they return home. The OT’s functions typically include:

  • Individualized patient evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals.
  • Customized treatment programs to improve the patient’s ability to perform important daily activities that are part of their normal lifestyle.
  • Comprehensive home and job-site evaluations with recommendations for needed adaptations to fit the patient’s capabilities.
  • Recommendations and usage training for adaptive equipment that will maximize the patient’s abilities.
  • Outcome evaluations to assess progress and ensure that the patient’s goals are being met, as well as to make any appropriate modifications to the recovery plan.
  • Guidance for family members and caregivers to enable them to provide any needed support for the patient after their return home. 

Serving a Wide Range of Patient Needs

Whether you’re recovering from an illness, injury or recent surgery, occupational therapists help you to do all the things that are important to you. In doing so, they provide excellent rehabilitative care for a variety of medical conditions and needs including, but not limited to:

  • Orthopaedic & Joint Care
  • Pulmonary Care
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory Care
  • Post-Surgical Recovery
  • Wound Care

Providing Exceptional Care in Modern, Spacious Rehabilitation Facilities

At Vernon Manor, your road to recovery will likely include the use of our beautiful, new gym. This specialized facility raises the quality of rehabilitation therapy – and outcomes to new levels. Our modern facility is specifically designed to support both physical therapy and occupational therapy exercise programs designed by our experienced therapy team.

Features include:

  • New occupational therapy kitchen
  • New, state-of-the-art therapy equipment, including:
    • Omnicycle™
    • Pro Gym
    • Pro Gym Cross Trainer with Hand Bike
    • Hudson Motorized Upper Body Ergonomics Table
    • WellnessSupply Upper Body Ergonomics
  • Specialized rubber-backed flooring provides comfort and noise reductions, while reducing the risk of any injury

Experience State-of-the-Art Post-Hospital Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care at Its Best

Located in Vernon, CT, Vernon Manor has proudly served the communities of Hartford and Tolland Counties for nearly 40 years, earning a highly respected reputation for delivering outstanding quality care, successful outcomes and exceptional service for our patients, residents and their families. We provide a proven rehabilitation program to enable patients to continue on their path to recovery, as well as compassionate long-term care for loved ones who require 24-hour nursing support.

Rebuild. Recover. Renew.

Vernon Manor’s Recover Right Post-Hospital Rehabilitation program provides you with all the support, expertise and encouragement you need to achieve a full recovery and a speedy return home.

For more information on Recover Right Post-Hospital Rehabilitation or long-term care – or to schedule an informative tour at your convenience – please contact our Director of Admissions at (860) 858-5010 or contact us online.