When To Choose In-Home Occupational Therapy For Palliative Care Patients

28 November 2017
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


When an ill loved one is sent home from a healthcare facility because he or she wishes to pass away in a familiar and comfortable environment, it's important to continue to arrange healthcare services that will keep the patient comfort. Known as palliative care, this often involves home visits from home health aides and other practitioners who can keep the person out of pain and allow him or her to have some manner of quality of life toward the end. Here are some times that you should strongly consider arranging this sort of care for your loved one.

When Physical Limitations Are An Issue

Depending on the person's medical condition, he or she may or may not be able to get around the house. Sometimes, those who are terminally ill are confined to their beds, while in other cases, patients can get around okay at home. However, if your loved one has physical limitations that are getting in the way, occupational therapy from a company like Hands-On Physical Therapy  may be the answer. For example, if the patient has gone through bed rest for an extended period of time, he or she may be experiencing muscle atrophy. Occupational therapy can be useful for helping the muscles feel more limber.

When The Patient Is Depressed

It's understandable for your loved one to be experiencing some degree of depression as a result of his or her circumstances, and you likely want to help. Medication can lead to unwanted side effects, but it may be worth trying therapy. Exercise can be effective for depression, and while your family member might not be able to exercise in the traditional sense, the occupational therapist can guide him or her through some stretching exercises, including assisted stretching, that may be able to alleviate some of the depression.

As A "Living" Exercise

One of the challenges of being in palliative care is that when the patient knows he or she is going to die, it can be so discouraging that it's tempting to just lie there and wait for it to happen. However, many people in palliative care can continue to enjoy life, despite the severity of the situation. If you feel that your loved one needs to remember to live a little, occupational therapy can help him or her to achieve this attitude. The idea of relieving pain, getting physically stronger, and feeling good can all be valuable to remind someone to live while he or she is still able.