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A occupational therapist helping a resident

What is Occupational Therapy: April is OT Month


What better way to celebrate Occupational Therapy Month than by highlighting the Occupational Therapy (OT) team here at Mission Healthcare and throughout the Careage Family of Care! Our entire rehabilitation therapy team takes great pride in being client-centered and focused on helping those in our care.  We want you to live your best life. We are proud to say that our work is so well-regarded, we’ve earned patient experience awards from Pinnacle Quality Insight for the past three years. 

Most people understand that physical therapy is about regaining strength or balance after surgery or a health event.  However, despite being around for more than a century, OT is still not as well understood.  With that in mind, we’ll review the purpose of occupational therapy in a skilled nursing facility setting and how it can it help you or the ones you love.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy helps a variety of individuals with chronic illness, acute injuries, or sudden changes (like after a health event such as a stroke).  In addition, OT is used for specific upper extremity rehabilitation, focusing on your arms and hands.

Occupational therapy helps individuals return to the tasks of daily living that make the day-to-day both meaningful and purposeful—such as getting dressed, preparing food, gardening, caring for pets or other family members, and so much more. Your occupational therapist takes into consideration the cognitive aspect of life and assists in discovering ways to best manage medications, finances, or keep track of appointments.

We use current, evidence-based practices to guide our development of an individualized plan of care, meant just for you, that meets specific medical and emotional needs.  As you or your loved one progresses, we continually update and upgrade this plan of care in order to reach the highest level of physical and functional independence.

If you’re thinking about staying with us at Mission Healthcare to recover from a surgery, illness, or health event, here are some ways OT can benefit you:

General health and wellness — OT will help improve your quality of life through learning about and redefining yourself and your surroundings. Most people experience improved mental and physical health, along with a sense of confidence in regaining some, if not all, of their independence.

Overcoming challenges in daily living — Falling is the leading cause of injury among those recovering from surgery or a health event, especially if you are over 65 years old. OT helps you learn how to be physically active while reducing your risk of falls—through practice and strength-training for balance, as well as modifying your environment with equipment that will increase your safety and independence. OT also helps you re-learn (or in some cases, learn new, easier ways) to get dressed, bathe, complete household cleaning, and so much more. 

Problem-solving skills — Not all of our work is purely physical. We offer valuable ways to process through and resolve the more social aspects of daily living such as a change in caregiver, altered routine, or if you’ve experienced the loss of your spouse.  We provide emotional support, tools, and resources to increase your self-efficacy in daily life.

Making your home safer — We invest time in problem-solving any situation that may have led to a hospitalization and what environmental or lifestyle changes can be made to prevent future instances. We work closely with you and your loved ones to simulate your home set up. Our goal is to increase your confidence, such as safely entering and exiting the shower, or modifying pathways and furniture placement to allow safe access throughout your home. When appropriate, we offer home visits to help ensure that your home is safe, including the installation of grab-bars, well-lit pathways, or removal of fall hazards. 

Aging in place — We understand that most adults want to stay in their homes as they age. We want to help you make the best possible choice and we work closely with our social workers in order to provide the resources needed if additional support will enable you to make the transition back home.

Are you considering surgery? Did you experience a recent health event or accident? Are you concerned about maintaining your strength and balance? 

If you live in King County, Mission Healthcare has two locations to serve you, in Bellevue and Renton.  If you need Careage to come to you, Careage Home Health spans from King to South Thurston County; reaching just about every community in the Puget Sound.  And, if you’re considering a change in lifestyle options so that you can maintain your independence without sacrificing your safety and quality of life, our Careage family of communities can help, also, including Patriots Glen, in Bellevue’s Lake Hills neighborhood, Patriots Landing in DuPont, WA, and The Lakes at Banning, CA


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