What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Occupational therapy services include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home environment, recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.
“Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team”. – American Occupational Therapy Association
Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Evaluation:
The level of complexity and medical justification of a comprehensive Occupational Therapy report varies based on client/insurance company requirements. Below are critical features included in the Occupational Therapy report:
- Functional evaluation of client’s mobility and activities of daily living.
- In depth evaluation of interior and exterior of home.
- Short-term and long-term recommendations for home modifications and adaptive equipment based on diagnosis and prognosis.
- Photos and videos of the current home to illustrate accessibility issues.
- Basic bathroom redesign.
- Ramp design.
- Home automation recommendations.
- Construction specifications to allow for quotes for work to be obtained without sharing private medical information.
- Attendant care requirements with medical justification.
The Occupational Therapy report will provide adaptive equipment with an emphasis on good-looking accessible fixtures to ensure the project is accessible and fits into the current aesthetic of the client’s home.
Preparing age in place homes
Depending on your current age or situation, you may already be seeing signs of things in your home not working for you like they used to. Because of that, the best place to start is identify these things, first.
- Are you nervous about stepping into your tub? (You should be.)
- Are cabinets and appliances hard to reach?
- Do you have steps in your home that your knees hate?
- Have you slipped on any floors?
- Is the laundry room inconvenient?
- Are there things you find yourself disliking about your home?
If any of these things ring true for you, it is OK … it happens for everyone!
These are questions we ask and explore with our clients. It is important for us to get this feedback from you. Then, we put that together with the results of a technical assessment to get a clear picture of your current and possible future situation.
There is a lot that goes into determining how your home can best suit your needs, now and in the future. Determining your current situation or needs is the first step.
When we look at your house and factor in changes you will face later in life, we may suggest a series of changes over time (instead of all at once). This can lessen the initial financial impact. Not to mention, fully tailor changes to the exact place you are in your life.
Our knowledge and experience about what people go through as they grow older helps us show you changes you can make in your home to make life easier and keep you safe.
Home safety assessment
One of the benefits of working with an Occupational Therapist is that I have the training and experience to understand how you interact with the features of your home. As well as the nuances of how your body interacts with those features in your home. This allows me to be able to be specific about how you can modify your home to make it better for your life.
As we go through this process together, my goals will be to educate you about these things. Then, show you how these changes that I suggest will empower you, make your daily tasks easier, and reduce the chances of you having an accident.
A big part of home assessments is focused on fall prevention. The outcome of the fall’s assessment will be more than just a recommendation to place grab bars in the bathroom. I will recommend several changes that might also include removing tripping hazards to changing the entrance to your home or even modifying pathways to prevent falls.
The truth is that as we age (regardless of our abilities or conditions), a person’s capabilities change. These gradual changes can be amplified by physical or health-related conditions. My job is to help you prepare for that and reduce your chances of injuring yourself at home.
Many of my clients hear from someone that I can help people adapt their homes. A home assessment is a tool that Occupational Therapists use to decide what home adaptations/modifications will help you specifically, which will support you now and later in life.
With any home remodeling project, it is important to have knowledgeable professionals working with you from the beginning (when you are deciding what you should do) through the completion of the project. This can help ensure you not only get a good value (quality for your investment), but also will increase the chances you get exactly what you need.
Home assessments: Now vs. later
No one really wants to think about their needs or abilities changing. However, if you do not want these changes to affect your quality of life, you should start early.
So many times, I have people contact me after they have fallen at home or had some other accident. By having a home evaluation earlier rather than late, it can save you money, time, and heartache.
Preventing falls reduces the money you spend on recovering. Or, worse, the impact it can have on your life if you cannot return home after a fall.
As an Occupational Therapist, I have been trained to evaluate you, your personal abilities, your home environment, and how each of those allows or prevents you from doing what you need to do in your daily life.
My medical background allows me to understand how physical or health conditions (as well as age) contribute to your abilities both now and in the future.
By personally observing how a person goes about his or her their daily life, I can provide suggestions that the average person would not be aware of. Thus, the home assessments I do are custom-tailored to you.
My goal is to help you keep living the life you want in the comfort of your own home.
I am also an approved Medicare provider and able to bill Medicare for skilled Occupational therapy evaluations.
COST: The cost of a comprehensive Occupational Therapy Evaluation could be covered by your current insurance plan, depending on your company. We will work with you!!
Please call: (717) 201-1413
Meet Certified Occupational Therapist Deb Jandzio
Deb is an Occupational therapist and aging in place specialist (CAPS) with over 25 years’ experience working with older adults. She managed ALF’s outpatient clinics and skilled nursing centers. In 2018 she started a home-based (outpatient) occupational therapy business for older adults called Pinnacle Home Therapy, LLC. With a focus on outpatient OT and home assessments, and home modifications.
I started my career as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in 1993!! I practiced for 5 years and then did a bridge program through Penn State to obtain my “R”. I took the CAPS course in 2015 with the goal of using the credentials as a marketing tool for my own practice.
As a COTA I did all the home evaluations for the OT department. I loved doing the home evaluations as it was the patient’s own environment not a simulation. I choose to work with a major rehab company because I would have access to a lot of seasoned therapists. (this was before facebook!) I was offered the program manager position in an ALF. I was literally given an empty apartment, a desk, a computer and the keys and told “build a clinic”. Within 6 months we needed a full time PT, within a year we needed a part time PTA. This ALF had 20 assistive living beds!! My clinic won an award in year 3 for clinical excellence. I then went on to start another outpatient clinic, and I ran an SNF in between with the goal of building up the outpatient caseload. Feeling limited by corporate policies, I knew I wanted to be in private practice, with a focus on home modifications. I started an LLC in 2015 but got stuck with the Medicare credentialing. Let it lapse then met a community based Physical therapist in 2018. I asked him how he got credentialed and he offered to mentor me!! He walked me through the entire process and even gave me patients to see on my own! We have been working together ever since. My home modification business happened by accident! I have a friend who is a nurse whose husband works for a contractor who does home modifications. I was talking with her about my goals and she said, “you should talk to my husband”. I called, went in for a meeting and have been doing all the Pennsylvania aging waiver home modifications for over a year. The contractor pays me directly so no insurance to worry about. My goal is to provide OT services to help train the patients when their modifications are installed.
Deb Jandzio, OTR/L, Certified Aging in Place Specialist
Deb is an Occupational therapist with over 25 years’ experience working with older adults as a manager in ALF outpatient clinics and managing skilled nursing centers. In 2018 she started a home-based (outpatient) occupational therapy business for older adults called Pinnacle Home Therapy, LLC. With a focus on outpatient OT and home assessments, home modifications for accessibility, Deb has been working with a local contractor to modify older adults’ home through the Pennsylvania Aging Waiver. Deb obtained her Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) in 2015.