Everyday activities such as cooking a meal or buttoning a shirt can be very difficult for people who have sustained a serious injury or suffer from a debilitating disease. If you or a loved one need assistance in regaining independence in daily living skills such as these, Baptist Health Louisville's occupational therapists can help. Therapy can be provided on an inpatient basis through the hospital's Rehabilitation Program, as well as on an outpatient basis at the hospital and at home.
Baptist Health Louisville's occupational therapists work with the patient, family members and referring physician to develop an individualized treatment plan. Therapists take individuals through a variety of daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and preparing meals. For example, a person might be taught to use a bathtub seat, grab bars or long-handled sponge for bathing or to use reachers to obtain objects from shelves.
Computer devices aid individuals
Computers may be used to help individuals increase their visual awareness, short-term memory and reaction times. For instance, if a patient's field of vision in the left eye has been cut, that person will need to be trained to be aware of everything on the left side of the environment. Special computer software enables the individual to practice these skills.
Stroke patients can “get a grip” with a new device that helps them regain use of their hands and once again perform everyday tasks such as opening a door.
Baptist Health Louisville is the first hospital in Louisville to use the NESS H200™. Occupational therapists use the technology with appropriate patients on the Rehabilitation Unit and outpatients.
Worn on the forearm, the device delivers an electrical impulse to the muscles in the hand and forearm to stimulate movement. Instructions such as “open” or “close” are sent by the patient or therapist to the control unit. The device then sends electrical impulses to the peripheral nerve, activating five muscle groups of the forearm and hand.
Therapists teach alternatives
If a patient can no longer perform a skill, the therapist can teach alternatives. For example, a right-handed person who has sustained injury to the right hand can be taught to use the left hand more efficiently.
Occupational therapists are also trained to make splints to prevent further injury or to correct a deformity caused by injuries or diseases such as arthritis.
Because most insurance companies require a doctor's order before a patient can receive occupational therapy, individuals are accepted by physician referral only. Upon referral, an occupational therapist will evaluate the individual. When therapy is appropriate, a personal treatment plan for either inpatient or outpatient care will be developed. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (502) 896-7444.