How Long term & short-term residents benefit from Occupational Therapy in the Skilled Nursing Setting

Apr 18, 2019 | Blog

In a skilled nursing center, residents can benefit from several interdisciplinary services that all work in conjunction with each other to develop that residents plan of care. Patients can be a long-term resident, who live full-time in a center or a short-term resident who can be recovering from an injury or surgical procedure; their goal being to return home and back to their daily lives and routines.

Skilled nursing center residents have available to them not only highly trained and specialized nursing care, but also have social services, spiritual care services and therapy services (Physical, Occupational and Speech) among others, who together play a vital role in that resident’s plan of care.

As we recognize and celebrate Occupational Therapists during the month of April (National OT Month), Palm Garden Healthcare wanted to highlight the many benefits Occupational Therapists provide our residents in the skilled nursing setting.

The Palm Garden Healthcare Occupational Therapist evaluates each of our residents individually and tailor their plan of care according to that individuals’ circumstances and the goals they want to achieve. They do this by helping to re-develop skills known as activities of daily living or ADL’s, which consist of certain self-care tasks such as feeding, dressing or grooming themselves.

As we grew through childhood we were taught how to dress ourselves, brush our teeth and hair and button our shirts. Pretty simple tasks, right? It is only when we lose the ability to do those tasks, whether it is due to an injury or medical issue, where we realize we may have taken those skills for granted. Many times, after a stroke, for example, a person may now have limited use of their extremities and therefore what used to be a simple task of buttoning your shirt can then be a monumental task to overcome!

Occupational therapists work one on one with residents to help them re-gain functionality which then helps that resident increase their sense of competency and their personal happiness. When occupational therapy is introduced into a residents’ plan of care it helps that resident to be able to once again live their life to its fullest potential. Sometimes it is the littlest things that can make a residents’ day and life more meaningful.

Palm Garden Healthcare would like to thank not only our own Occupational Therapists and Assistants as we celebrate National Occupational Therapy month in April, but also to thank all Occupational therapists and assistants for their dedicated service to their residents by helping them once again lead productive and fulfilling lives!


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Hofmann, Ashley. (no date). Living Life To Its Fullest ™: Occupational Therapy In Skilled Nursing Facilities.