Recovery can be a long and winding road after an accident, illness or injury. Sometimes patients need specialized care to reclaim skills they once used in day-to-day living. At Pender Community Hospital, occupational therapists customize care and utilize a wide range of treatments to help people of all ages live more complete, productive and independent lives. PCH occupational therapist Haley Haymart explained the importance of this lesser-understood therapy—and how occupational therapists, patients and providers partner to establish goals that give patients the tools they need to live confidently at home, work or at school.

What is occupational therapy and how does it work?
“Occupational therapy is a holistic approach to healthcare,” Haley explained. “Therapists address clinical conditions, habits, routines and access each individuals’ occupation and activities.” After a thorough evaluation, occupational therapists customize treatments and draw from a number of resources, from finding interventions or making home modifications to utilizing technology advancements, that help patients reach their goals.

Goal getters
Therapists and patients establish goals—and no goal is too small—to help individuals live more successfully and independently. Tasks may include relearning life skills including how to eat, get dressed, use the restroom or pay bills. Therapists may also recommend modifications in the home or workplace so patients can live easier and return to their jobs.

Occupational therapy is for all ages
Older adults may receive occupational therapy services to restore balance, help prevent falls or learn how to adapt to using a wheelchair. OT is also common for people with joint and mobility issues or for those experiencing cognitive challenges. Younger patients may see an occupational therapist to learn how to hold a pencil or respond more confidently in social situations. Using innovative treatments, advanced technologies and modification techniques, therapists customize care to help patients live happier, healthier lives.

Occupational therapy is different than physical therapy
Haley illustrates the difference between occupational and physical therapies by using a favorite saying. “Physical therapy helps a ballerina learn to walk again. Occupational therapy teaches the ballerina to dance again.” Beyond the physical demands of recovery—where strengthening and exercising the body helps its function—occupational therapies help people master everyday tasks and activities that often make life more meaningful.

Why Pender Community Hospital?
According to Haley, the real benefit to occupational therapy at PCH is the continuum of care. “If we see you as an inpatient, the same therapist will transition care and see you as an outpatient to further assist you with meeting important goals,” she shared. Haley is especially proud of the compassion the PCH therapy team shows to each patient they partner with for care. “Everyone here is treated like family.”

Call for care or learn more
If you or someone you love needs help to recover daily skills—or rediscover a more confident and independent life—talk to the occupational therapy team at Pender Community Hospital. Call 402-385-2026 with questions or contact Haley directly at 402-385-1853.

Haley Haymart, OTD/OTR/L