Video on Fall Prevention Strategies

Thank you to the American Occupational Therapy Association for this video on simple strategies for preventing falls around the home.  Falls are not a part of normal aging nor dealing with chronic illness.   Many simple strategies can help to prevent falls when they are caused by hazards in the living environment.

http://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/Adults/Falls/prevent-falls-in-home-tips.aspx

Reduction in Nursing Home Admissions

OT NEWS from the October 10, 2016 issue of OT Practice

 

An independent study by health policy researchers published in Medical Care Research and Review (https://doi.org/10.1177/1077558716666981) found that “occupational therapy is the only spending category where additional spending has a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates” for the three health conditions studied: heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction. Researchers Andrew Rogers, Ge Bai, and Gerard F. Anderson of Johns Hopkins University as well as Robert A. Levin of the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that that “occupational therapy places

a unique and immediate focus on patients’ functional and social needs, which can be important drivers of readmission if left unaddressed.” The researchers used Medicare claims and cost data to examine the association between hospital spending for specific services and 30-day admission rates for heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction. They evaluated 19 distinct spending categories, including occupational therapy, in 2,791 hospitals for the heart failure analysis; 2,818 hospitals for the pneumonia analysis; and 1,595 hospitals for the acute myocardial infarction analysis. The researchers cited six particular interventions provided by occupational therapists that could lower readmissions:

  • 1. Provide recommendations and training for caregivers.

  • 2. Determine whether patients can safely live independently, or require further rehabilitation or nursing care.

  • 3. Address existing disabilities with assistive devices so patients can safely perform activities of daily living (e.g., using the bathroom, bathing, getting dressed, making a meal).

  • 4. Perform home safety assessments before discharge to suggest modifications.

  • 5. Assess cognition and the ability to physically manipulate things like medication containers, and provide training when necessary.

  • 6. Work with physical therapists to increase the intensity of inpatient rehabilitation.

“The findings of this important study highlight just one of the many roles occupational therapy practitioners are playing in improving quality and reducing health care costs,” said AOTA Executive Director Fred Somers. “Occupational therapy practitioners are proving to be an essential member of any interprofessional team successfully addressing the changing demands of the health care delivery system.”

For more on how occupational therapy improves outcomes while reducing costs, visit http://www.aota.org/about-occupational-therapy/professionals/hcr

 

Inventors make a difference at every age

Ninety-one year old Barbara Beskind has my heart on this one:  she always wanted to be an inventor.  As a young woman she was denied access to engineering school to make her dream came true so she became an occupational therapist instead.  She now works for a Silicon Valley design firm called IDEO every week, taking the bus and walking several blocks to her dream job.

Barbara Beskind, OTR and Inventor

Barbara Beskind, 91 Year-Old Occupational Therapist and Inventor

Well as an occupational therapist myself, I clearly see the benefits of having an “inventive” mindset!  In my own words, an occupational therapist evaluates how a person occupies their time and the skills needed to do those things.  We have expertise in anatomy; physiology; neuroanatomy; activity analysis; activities of daily living; medical care and equipment; mental health; documentation and professional writing; the healthcare, work, and school system systems including their environments; treatment modalities and manual therapies.  Our job often includes creating or modifying devices to make the life of a patient/client easier or safer, from hand splints to adaptive feeding utensils and more.

Many occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants choose to specialize in a particular area of healthcare, consulting, medical sales, or business ownership as our careers develop.  Occupational therapy provides an excellent background for a lifetime of meaningful work roles, equipping creative professionals like me to re-invent my own career many times!

I am exceedingly grateful to have been a part of numerous specialty areas of practice (i.e. mental health, rehabilitation, home health care, consultation, community education and training) including starting or expanding five occupational therapy programs.  Three times I have enjoyed creating innovative home businesses before founding Two Step Solutions.  Thankfully I am still a long ways before reaching age 91!

Here is Mrs. Beskind’s inspiring story from the Today Show.  May it encourage you to keep following your heart’s desire for someday it just may come true!  Please share your thoughts with our community below.

Age is not a barrier:  the story of Barbara Beskind.