How OT Can Help You Age in Place

Eileen Cohn, MSOTR/L, CAPS received her Occupational Therapy Assistant certification from North Shore Community College in 2006 and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Salem State University in 2011. Having vast experience in both hospital settings and school systems, Cohn left Spaulding Rehabilitation in 2011 to work in home care with All Care VNA. Cohn became a certified Aging in Place Specialist in 2015 through the National Home Builders Association and is currently working with local community organizations to ensure safety in the home. Occupational therapy, or OT, has been an integral healthcare profession for almost a century, yet remains one of the most unrecognizable and misunderstood concepts in the healthcare field. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists defines OT as, “a client-centered health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation (WFOT, 2016)”. In simpler terms, occupational therapists help individuals across the lifespan participate in daily activities that are meaningful to them or as we call them, occupations. Typical required daily occupations for an adult include such tasks as bathing, dressing, and cooking a meal; however, activities of leisure are also important and meaningful occupations in an individual’s life. When an individual has a change in their ability to perform their daily occupations, as a result of a stroke, hip replacement, or dementia, for example, an OT is able to provide therapy based on each individual’s functional need and help the person regain their lost or impaired skills. OTs do so by providing customized assessments and treatment plans to help people achieve maximum independence in performing their daily occupations. An emerging trend within the healthcare field is...