Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Occupational Therapy (OT) plays a key role here at Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors. OT enables residents to maintain their daily independence. Our Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (N&RC) is a skilled-nursing facility with both short-term and long-term services. Our Occupational Therapists support residents in living their lives to the fullest potential.

“Seeing the light in their eyes when they have accomplished a goal and seeing their progress every day, is what I love about being an Occupational Therapist.” said Sheila Stadtlander, OTR.

Encouraging a resident to attain their level of independence is extremely important. OT is there to guide and teach residents new and alternative ways to function daily. For example, when a resident comes to our N&RC to begin their recovery from a surgery or injury, the OT staff assess the situation based on that individual’s specific goal(s). They then create a personalized care plan and show them how to complete their Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as showering, dressing, brushing teeth, etc.

Each day, the OT staff faces challenges and has to come up with new and creative ways to help solve them so residents can continue living their lives to the best ability. COVID-19 was certainly one of those.

“We faced many obstacles with the pandemic, the residents were unable to come down to the gym to receive therapy, so essentially we had to bring the gym to their rooms.” said Lauren Delude, OTR.

Due to pandemic restrictions, stationary exercise equipment wasn’t accessible to residents, so therapy sessions became tailored to their specific needs and ADL focused. The OTs had very limited resources and based off of their environment, had to come up with alternative ways to continue each resident’s progression.

Another main part of an OT’s job is effectively communicating to other staff members a resident’s new level of function. If a resident begins to revert back to the former way of doing a task, it would only prolong their growth. It is important for staff to learn and understand, so when the OT is not available, they can help the resident find alternate ways to complete their activity.

Our OT staff are constantly advocating for resident’s needs, safety and independence. They are such a key part of a resident’s every-day life; from helping short-term residents regain skills needed to return home safely, to engaging long-term residents in leisurely activities, to improving overall quality of life.

We thank our Occupational Therapists for their hard work and dedication to each resident and to Daughters of Sarah!