Occupational therapy in your own home

Occupational therapy used to be also called ‘occupational therapy’. An occupational therapist helps people who have a disability in carrying out daily activities. This can have a mental, physical, sensory or emotional cause. For several years now, it has been possible to receive occupational therapy in your own home, if it is important for you to reapply the actions you have to learn in your own environment.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy literally means action, work or deed. There are many people who experience difficulties with everyday things. You can think of doing the dishes or vacuuming. You would say that it is not a serious limitation if you are no longer able to do this, but it is still very annoying if you live independently and you cannot maintain your home due to a physical or mental limitation. Occupational therapy has everything to do with daily functioning and the limitations one may have therein. An occupational therapist helps people with mental, physical, sensory or emotional problems that cause them to have certain limitations in daily life. The occupational therapist does this in a creative and holistic way, which can benefit the patient greatly.
Occupational therapy helps people to function as independently as possible again when performing daily activities. This can be at home, at work or at school.

Who does occupational therapy work for?

Occupational therapy is primarily intended for anyone who can no longer perform normal daily activities properly. This can have many different causes. Examples of this are an illness, a disability, old age or the problems mentioned earlier. Occupational therapy is suitable for both adults and children.

What can occupational therapy do for you?

Together with you and the people around you who are affected by your disability (family, caregivers, employer), the occupational therapist will examine the options for performing certain actions independently or with fewer complaints. The occupational therapist will first investigate why you can no longer perform the action(s) independently.
From this point he/she will take action and fully focus on the problem and its possible solutions. For example, the occupational therapist can :

  • learning to carry out certain actions in a practical way in a different way. Consider, for example, cooking while sitting, writing with the other hand, dealing with declining memory or early dementia, going to the toilet, dressing and undressing.
  • assess whether it is necessary to purchase or request a specific aid. He/she can then also teach you how to use the aid. Aids include a wheelchair for indoors and/or outdoors, adapted toys or other (adapted) cutlery.
  • advise on any necessary adjustments in your home, school or workplace. This may include an adapted chair or desk, a shower chair, supports in the shower and toilet, a stair lift or a hoist, a raised toilet or a higher bed, an adapted kitchen.
  • provide aftercare if you have been discharged from the hospital, a nursing home or a rehabilitation center. Aftercare may include (follow-up) treatment or processing the request for necessary facilities.
  • guidance in returning to work/integration.
  • inform the people around you about how they can best help or guide you in carrying out certain actions.


Why occupational therapy at home?

For most people, home is often the place where they experience the most limitations. Home is also the most trusted place. When an occupational therapist comes to your home, you can practice in your own familiar environment and this feels much more pleasant for many people. The therapy can be more focused on your living and possibly work situation. The therapist can also see how you deal with limitations in your own environment and adjust the exercises accordingly.
If you think that an occupational therapist can help you, you can contact your GP or specialist. You can indicate that you would like the therapy at home. You don’t necessarily have to give a reason for this. The general practitioner or specialist will send a referral to an occupational therapist and, in most cases, he or she will then contact you to make an appointment.

Is occupational therapy reimbursed?

Yes, but there are maximum limits. In the former health insurance package, clients were reimbursed for a maximum of ten hours per year if they had an occupational therapist at home. There was also compensation for privately insured people, depending on the insurer. Now that everyone is insured in the same way, and no longer by a health insurance fund or privately, the reimbursement depends on your healthcare provider, the healthcare provider’s benefit package and the healthcare package you use. Some basic packages do not reimburse occupational therapy at home, others do. It is best to ask your healthcare provider to what extent you can make use of an occupational therapist at home for reimbursement.

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