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Occupational, Physical & Speech Therapies

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) uses activity to restore and maintain a person’s physical and mental status to the highest functional level possible so that he or she may perform everyday activities, including for recreation. To do this, individuals learn to adapt to the way they perform activities and to the environment surrounding those activities.

OT evaluates and treats underlying problems such as:

  • Decreased upper body strength
  • Impaired fine motor skills
  • Decreased coordination
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Safety concerns
  • Impaired performance in self-care and community reintegration

Treatment is geared toward re-training movement and self-care skills, providing adaptive equipment, and training in the use of energy conservation and work simplification to increase independent living and caregiver training. In addition, occupational therapists perform upper extremity wound care and whirlpools, dynamic and static splinting, and make recommendations for adaptive and Durable Medical Equipment (DME), such as bedside commodes, tub seats and grab bars.

Occupational therapy should be consulted if a patient presents with any of the following impairments/needs:

  • Decreased feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming skills
  • Decreased sensation/perception
  • Decreased cognition (command following, memory, sequencing, problem solving, insight, safety awareness)
  • Splinting needs (upper and lower extremities)
  • Decreased range of motion and/or strength of upper extremities
  • Functional mobility deficits
  • Patient/family education and training
  • Home safety assessment
  • Decreased activity tolerance

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) addresses declined functional mobility skills such as bed mobility, transfers and gait. The following problems are evaluated by physical therapists:

  • Decreased overall strength
  • Decreased balance
  • Decreased coordination
  • Gait deviations
  • Deficits in tone
  • Postural abnormalities
  • Neurological deficits

Treatment is focused on maximizing functional independence and safety upon discharge. Therapy also focuses on patient and family education and training, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) procurement and wound care (i.e. whirlpool and pulse lavage.)

Physical therapy should be consulted if a patient presents with any of the following impairments/needs:

  • Ambulation/gait deficits
  • Decreased balance/dizziness/vertigo
  • Weakness/paralysis/apraxia
  • Foot drop
  • Decreased functional mobility
  • Patient/family education and training
  • Wound care/whirlpool treatments

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech-language pathology, also referred to as speech therapy, is for patients who have difficulty with communication (speech, expressing and/or understanding language, reading and writing), cognition (memory, attention, reasoning and problem-solving) or swallowing.

Speech therapy should be consulted if a patient presents with any of the following impairments/needs:

  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Decreased language skills
  • Decreased ability to express their wants/needs
  • Cognitive/linguistic deficits
  • Patient tracheotomy/patient on a ventilator
  • Patient/family education and training
  • Voice disorders
  • Fluency disorder
  • Articulation disorder
  • Augmentative communication

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