Occupational Therapy and End-Of-Life Care
What is the role of Occupational Therapy in the End of Life, normally as an OT our goal is to prepare the patients to return to a functional state of being in there occupation, but in this setting their occupation is whatever makes them happy and at ease. So the job of the OT doesnt really change just our mind set changes. We are no longer trying to help regain independence we are attempting to gain comfort and peace. The Occupational Therapy practitioners role in the end- of- life is to help the client continue life with a sense of purpose. I think that the AOTA defined it well with this statement “Occupational therapy practitioners provide skilled intervention to improve quality of life by facilitating engagement in daily life occupations throughout the entire life course. Participation in meaningful life occupations continues to be as important at the end of life as it is at earlier stages” (Benthall & Holmes, 2011).
Our role as OTAs is not that different in end of life treatment as it is with someone who is being treated to regain independence. The role of the OTA is to enhance the quality of life by finding what made the client happy before the illness and trying to facilitate that into their current situation, not just using traditional rehab and restorative approaches. “To better understand occupational therapys role in end-of-life care, we should situate occupational therapy in the context of settings where end-of-life care is provided” (Benthall & Holmes, 2011). That being said the article is talking about Palliative care: managing pain, address emotional and spiritual concerns and Hospice care as most people know it as. “Many of these health care settings are places where occupational therapy services are readily used, yet in the authors experience there exists a pervasive belief within rehabilitation teams that skilled therapies such as occupational therapy are not reimbursable services