April is National Occupational Therapy Month

April is national Occupational Therapy month and the perfect time to promote the occupational therapy services your home health agency provides.

Many patients recovering from surgery or struggling with chronic illnesses have difficulty carrying out the activities of daily living (ADLs). Home health care provides occupational and physical therapists who help patients better manage their daily routines. Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s home environment along with their physical capabilities to identify activities that might be difficult for them to accomplish. The therapists then create a program instructing patients in performing these daily tasks safely, which is especially useful for seniors who need to minimize fall risk.

Occupational therapists aren’t just concerned with functionality, they also provide emotional support. Therapists encourage patients to be kind to themselves and to accept that managing ADLs differently is okay. They teach energy conservation techniques to minimize joint stress, pain, and fatigue. Practicing energy conservation reduces the frustration of running out of steam by balancing rest and activity.

Energy Conservation tips:

  • Plan ahead by scheduling difficult tasks for when you have the most energy.

  • Take frequent short rest periods and lie down whenever possible.

  • The amount of rest you need and the amount of activity you can do will be different from day to day.

  • Avoid activities that cannot be stopped immediately if they become too much.

  • Sit to work whenever possible and rest before you feel tired.

  • Plan a balance of rest and activity, spreading the more draining tasks throughout the week.

  • Delegate responsibilities to others.

Here are ideas on how your agency can celebrate Occupational Therapist month:

  • Throw an OT party and invite former patients to share their success stories and take lots of photos to share on social media.

  • Highlight individual therapists in your social media posts. Have them share fun facts about themselves and give a short ditty about why they chose to become an occupational therapist.

  • Host a lunch & learn for your referral sources to point out all of the services you offer your patients and to seek feedback to improve your business.

  • Organize an OT get-together after work to facilitate team building and discuss the patients that have touched your heart.

Check out our online web store for materials to help promote your wellness message…

National PT Month is coming up in October

By the time they reach their golden years most adults will either find themselves facing a possible orthopedic procedure or recovering from one. Regaining a full range of motion after a surgery is often a painful and difficult undertaking especially for an older adult. It is a common practice for an orthopedic specialist to prescribe physical therapy as part of their post-surgery recovery plan.

Physical therapy is a treatment that helps patients reduce their pain and regain function without invasive procedures or habit-forming medications. Physical therapists (PTs) are trained and licensed medical professionals who work with patients that have physical limitations. Physical therapy helps patients improve their range of motion through hands-on treatments or guided exercises. Patients can receive treatment in a variety of settings that include skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and their home.

A PT diagnoses a patient’s physical abilities and tolerance through a standardized evaluation process. Once a patient’s performance level has been identified, their therapist will work with them and their caregivers to establish improvement goals. The PT will map out a treatment plan to achieve those goals based on several factors including patient prognosis.  

Some Standard Methods of Treatment Might Include:

  • Guided Exercises

  • Instruction on proper use of stabilizing equipment, such as a walker or a cane

  • Proper transfer techniques

  • Massage, ultrasound, or heat/cold treatments

  • Proper techniques for stair climbing and traversing obstacles

October is the month to recognize the important work that PTs do and a good time to include information about your agency’s patient outcomes in your referral network marketing. Visit our Tag Web Store to stock up on your health care flyers customized with the physical therapy services your company provides.

Participation Ideas:

  1. Consider sponsoring a community activity within your service area highlighting your PTs and the services they can provide.

  2. Host a local PT clinic to raise awareness of the role physical therapy plays in pain management and restoring wellness.

  3. Visit senior centers and provide workshops on maintaining mobility. Be sure to provide brochures about your agency and all of the health care services you can provide

Plan for September: Living better through education

September is National Pain Awareness Month. According to the American Pain Foundation, about 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain each year. What’s more, about one in three Americans lose 20 hours of sleep or more every month due to pain. Those in pain don’t suffer alone — their family members suffer, too. Commit to observing Pain Awareness Month by educating your community and helping them find ways to cope with the condition.

  • Hospice agencies can distribute Pain and Symptom Logs to patients to help educate them and their caregivers about the importance of pain and symptom tracking. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/painsymptomlog.php.
  • Ask your area pharmacists whether you can leave brochures at their counters about pain management and how your agency can help. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/brochure.php.
  • Give patients who suffer from pain a durable Zone Flyer that clearly shows them what’s normal, what merits a call to your agency and what warrants a call to 911. Show your referral sources that you are using this handy tool to improve patient education and outcomes. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/zone-flyer.php.
  • Leave stacks of flyers about pain management, chronic pain or arthritis in the waiting rooms of local rheumatologists, internists and family practice physicians. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.

High cholesterol is a problem that plagues millions of Americans. In fact, about 71 million American adults (almost 34 percent!) have high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This puts them at about twice the risk of heart disease as people with lower levels of the substance, and only about 1 in 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control. Do your part to increase awareness of this condition during September’s National Cholesterol Education Month.

  • Host a free class for seniors on heart health or diet and nutrition. Find a ready-made class at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • Visit with local internists, cardiologists and family practice physicians and ask to leave informational brochures about heart disease, stroke or diabetes at their checkout desk. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/brochure.php.
  • Visit your area hospitals over the weekend and stock their waiting rooms (not just the main waiting room) with rack cards educating about heart disease, weight loss, and stroke — and how your agency can help. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/rack-cards.php.

National Rehabilitation Awareness Week is Sept. 15-21. Show your support for the rehabilitation professionals at your agency and in your community by taking part in this celebration sponsored by the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation.

  • Call on orthopedic surgeons and leave behind tablet mousepads that educate about your agency’s physical therapy services. The mousepads include a 25-sheet tear-off pad for note taking. Find the mousepads at www.tagwebstore.com/mousepads.php.
  • Educate your community about the benefits of physical and occupational therapy. Offer to stop in and give a short five-minute presentation about the benefits of physical and occupational therapy during this month’s meetings of your local rotary clubs, Lions Clubs, elected officials and other meetings that draw a large number of senior attendees. Be sure to leave behind stacks of physical and occupational therapy flyers. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.
  • Visit the offices of local neurologists and leave behind home care speech therapy brochures. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/speech-therapy-brochure.php.