STEADY STRIDES Occupational Therapy SERVICES
The Steady Strides Occupational Therapy (OT) Program is unique and comprehensive. We use evidence-based assessments to gain a holistic picture of our patients’ strengths, needs and goals. The goal of our OT exercise program is to equip the patients with “tailor made” exercises which fit their physical, as well as lifestyle needs, making the greatest gains in their activities of daily living.
Physical and Occupational Therapies are complementary measures working well together. While sometimes borders between the two disciplines may be blurred, these are two distinct specialties.
The American Physical Therapy Association defines Physical Therapists (PTs) as “movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.” The American Occupational Therapy Association, on the other hand, explains that Occupational Therapists (OTs) specialize in “therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations)“ using a “holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person.”
As an illustrative example, while a PT may focus on regaining muscle strength and joint range of motion for a stroke patient with shoulder pain, spasticity and weakness, an OT will consider how patient’s cognitive function contributes to use of the arm, the environment where the task takes place and work on functional tasks (e.g. eating, dressing, washing, etc…) that the shoulder is asked to perform. In this example, the PT is working on a more local problem (e.g. shoulder range of motion) while the OT is working on more global problem, e.g. eating.
The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends Occupational Therapy assessment and interventions to help prevent falls or treat conditions like pain or the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Cognitive function includes executive function, organization, sequencing, memory, attention and problem-solving. A person with difficulties in these areas may have trouble organizing their home, paying attention to medication labels, remembering how to access the seat on a walker, problem solving, learning new skills, or walking around safely at home.
At Steady Strides we work closely with our physician and physical therapy colleges to help maximize your recovery and use evidence based tools to help manage your cognitive function.
We assess balance, ambulation, reaching, bending and proper use of assistive devices (e.g. canes, walkers) and their contribution to safe ambulation and transfers. We look at all aspects of a patient’s mobility: speed, rhythm, distractibility, even what kind of shoes they wear!
Patients are observed ambulating inside, outside and in their homes. Exercise programs are developed, practiced, reviewed and revised to fit the patient’s current needs.
The O.T. exercise program is a patient-centered, progressive , result- oriented program. A patient is introduced to exercises and challenges which meet their needs. It may be slow “country music” movements while sitting on an uneven surface, relaxing Tai Chi dance in standing, or balancing on specialized equipment while juggling!
It is known that vision deficits can increase risk of falls. At Steady Strides we assess visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, convergence/divergence, visual attention and scanning.
Functional examples: a person may not see that a carpet is buckled , sidewalk is uneven, or the floor is slippery. He/she may not scan for barriers when walking outside or at home.
Home assessment a vital part of our program at Steady Strides.
The patient in seen in “real time” in his/her home, which provides the therapist with a deeper understanding of his/her challenges. The therapist is then able to recommend realistic modifications which can significantly improve the patients’ independence and safety.