Sometimes serious illness or injury leaves a person unable to care for themselves, and they may need help at home. Occupational therapists (OTs) or certified occupational therapist assistants (COTAs) can help you overcome challenges you might face in your daily life as you recover.

Matt Janes, PT, DPT, MHS, a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist with Kindred at Home, outlines what to expect from occupational therapy at home.

“The goal is to create a supportive and healing environment for each and every person we serve,” Matt said. “At home, patients remain safe in familiar surroundings with the knowledge and ability to manage their conditions, medications and symptoms. Another benefit of receiving care in the home is that family members and caregivers can be more readily available and can be more involved.”

What Should I Expect from an Occupational Therapy Visit at Home?  

There is no preparation required for home care visits. Here’s what you can expect:

  • On the first visit, the OT will review your health history, your medications and your home. Because of this in-depth review, the first visit may take longer than follow-up visits.
  • Your OT will develop an appropriate 60-day plan with other members of your care team.
  • Once the plan of care is developed, the OT or COTA will visit your home as frequently as is needed for your condition and path to recovery.

What Is the Benefit of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is designed to help you make small adjustments to regain the ability to complete activities you do on daily basis and improve your quality of life. Occupational therapists with CenterWell Home Health keep your dignity in the forefront. Some of the benefits are: 

  • Improved safety at home
  • Decreased fall risk
  • Conserved energy
  • Increased strength
  • Improved function

How Do I Know If I Can Receive OT at Home?

According to Janes, whether you are heading home from a hospital or a skilled nursing facility, or you have experienced a recent decline from your condition, you only need to meet a few guidelines to receive Medicare home health services. You must:

  • Need skilled nursing care (not custodial services or personal care assistance)
  • Be under the care of a physician who has established a home health plan of care (POC) for you
  • Have had a face-to-face meeting regarding your primary diagnosis for home health with a physician or an allowed non-physician practitioner (NPP) in the past 90 days
  • Not be able to leave home on your own without assistance (for example, needing crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, the use of special transportation or assistance of another person) or have a condition that makes leaving home medically unsafe

If you have healthcare questions for yourself or a loved one, call 1-833-453-1107 to speak with a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can walk you through care options in your area.