- have decreased mobility and difficulty with transferring to a chair or bed for example
- have difficulty with personal care tasks
- have cognitive difficulties which impacts on their safety in functional tasks
- are palliative patients who wish to return to their own home
- have specific social problems which may have an effect on safe discharge planning
- are frequent fallers
The Occupational Therapist may then carry out all or some of the following intervention:-
We carry these out with you or your family members if appropriate. These interviews provide background information about mobility, transfers (getting on and off furniture), personal care, meal preparation and domestic tasks. They also allow us to learn about the layout of your home, any adaptive equipment already in place, care provided to the individual and coping strategies used prior to admission to hospital.
Person Centred Treatment Planning
This is about identifying current problems, setting functional goals with the individual and treatment strategies adopted to achieve these goals.
Personal Care Assessment
We look at how you currently manage washing and dressing, and identify and physical / cognitive difficulties you may have. We advise you on what equipment / support may be required on discharge. It is helpful for you to have your own clothes in hospital to ensure the accuracy of this assessment. Due to the personal nature of these assessments we always ensure your privacy and dignity is maintained throughout.
We identify how you can get from one surface to another e.g. on/off toilet, bed and chair. We offer advice on techniques to complete safe transfers and provide any equipment that might be needed to ensure safe transfers at home.
We have a kitchen where we can ask you to prepare a hot drink or a snack, to assess a range of cognitive and physical abilities and to advise on any suitable equipment / support you may need for discharge.
We are able to assess cognition e.g. memory, concentration, safety awareness, through standardised and/or functional assessments. We work with other professionals if appropriate, such as the psychiatric liaison team or psychology services.
Access visits and home visits assess the barriers and look at the solutions for these barriers in your home. We visit your home to determine if adaptations or equipment is required;
- ramps for wheelchair access
- equipment to help transfers such as bed levers or toilet aids
- specialised moving and handling equipment such as hoists.
Sometimes a home visit is completed where you come with us to assess your ability to manage in your own home.
Discharge Home Visits
When all assessments have been completed within the hospital and we feel you will be safe at home, a discharge home visit is the next step. This involves taking you home, practising functional tasks in your home and, if the OT deems you safe and independent, you are discharged.
We will identify and provide small pieces of equipment through the community loan equipment store. This equipment is free of charge and on loan for your use. If we provide equipment a family member may be asked to take this home as part of the discharge process.
We liaise closely with the wheelchair service for provision of wheelchairs and seating systems for patients with a long term need. For short term needs, we can also provide information regarding the hiring of wheelchairs.
Occupational Therapists also make referrals to outside agencies such as: Intermediate Care, Loan Equipment Stores, Social Services Occupational Therapy, Wheelchair Services, Psychology Services, Counselling services, Kent Association of the Blind, HiKent (for hard of hearing) and Housing departments.