Most of us familiar with rehabilitation know that occupational therapists are problem solvers who devise solutions to unprecedented problems with carrying out day-to-day tasks. But not everyone is aware that mental health also falls into the OT’s domain.
In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, we’d like to highlight a lesser-discussed role of occupational therapy: assessing the patient’s mental health and addressing the psychological component of rehabilitation.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the “Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens through Workforce Advancement Act of 2014” last week to establish six new demonstration projects in long-term care. Two of the proposed projects would allocate funds for the training of advanced certified nursing assistants. The idea is to empower these direct-care workers to take on “deeper clinical responsibilities” as well as promote smoother care transitions and reduce rehospitalizations. Participants in the programs would report on outcomes, employee satisfaction and rehospitalization rates.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association recently held its annual tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, where more than 85 teams and 1,200 athletes competed. Teams from San Diego to New York traveled to the Kentucky Expo Center to compete within their divisions in bracket-style elimination on more than 10 basketball courts. The games began on Thursday, April 3rd and concluded on Sunday, April 6th.
As billing for therapy is interpreted by various agencies that review claims, the importance of strong communication cannot be understated. Shelly Mesure, author of the “Rehab Realities” column for McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, shares the “power words” that therapists should be using when they document for rehab services.
Mesure urges therapists to “use ‘power’ words to clearly communicate our message and avoid any misunderstanding or ‘lack of medical necessity.’” Therapists must use strong and direct language to indicate that the care delivered was crucial to the patient’s recovery and/or safety. Certain words convey this message better than others.
To read Mesure’s documentation recommendations, visit the article here.
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For National Nutrition Month (March), we are all reminded to evaluate our diets and consider ways to improve our nutrition and habits, like cutting sodium or minding portion sizes.
However, some people require more complex solutions. For example, patients with swallowing and cognitive difficulties or comorbidities need special interventions to ensure adequate nutritional intake.
RehabCare Speech Pathologist Michelle Tristani shares common challenges and strategies for meeting nutritional needs for patients with dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, and other conditions that may present feeding issues.
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