Being an Occupational Therapist (OT) is more than just a job, it is who we are as human beings. It is a thought process that flows over into all aspects of our own lives. It’s the core of who we are as humans and we tend to practice what we preach!
One of the many descriptions of what an OT does as a profession is that we educate people on ways to participate in their activities of everyday life with their environment. It is our passion.
What does this actually mean with regards to a Home Modifications OT? It means that we want to help you set up your environment in a way that will be easy and safe for you to use and enjoy comfortably, independently, and safely now and as you age.
I tell people all of the time, if we are LUCKY enough to get older, well, stuff is bound to happen. Unless you have a crystal ball you don’t really know what life is going to throw your way. Home Modification OT’s who are trained as Certified Aging in Place Specialists know that there are many things you can change to your home environment to help you be prepared.
You are you and your environment should and can be adapted to work for you! You should feel happy and relaxed in your home.
As we age many of us will eventually be diagnosed with an illness or injury that could progress and worsen with time. A Home Modification OT, because of our medical knowledge, can help you design your space in a way that works for you now as well as in the future.
Proactive decision making will help you be prepared when and if something happens. If you have your home set up now (proactive), with some basic modifications, you will have to be less reactive when/if something happens to you or a loved one.
Unfortunately, OT’s see this scenario too frequently. It is not at all uncommon for people to put off changes to their environment with the thought process of “oh, I’ll deal with that when I have to” or “I have been healthy so far, I’m good”. Then you fall and break a hip or dislocate a shoulder, or a more unexpected medical event happens. With this you go to the hospital and probably rehab. Before you can go home changes to your home environment will have to happen. The decision making of how to change your environment then frequently falls to family members making these decisions on your behalf. They are not likely to make the changes that you would have made proactively!
I am hopeful that after you read this article that you will reach out to an OT Home Modifications Specialist. We are in every state in the country. Help us to help you!!
Sherry Pidgeon, OTR/L, CAPS, ECHM, CDP
Home Mobility VT (homemobilityvt.com)
Phone: (802) 578-3440 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org