Our Guide to Occupational Therapy at Home

therapy at home

When a person is severely injured or sick, they are often unable to care for themselves, requiring home health care. Professionals like occupational therapists (OTs) or certified occupational therapist assistants (COTAs) provide a supportive, healing environment for patients who battle the everyday challenges of recovering after leaving the hospital.

Whether you or a loved one may need clinical assistance in a home setting in California, you may want to know what you should expect from occupational therapy at home. In this arrangement, patients focus on their recovery in a safe, familiar space and the knowledge and capability of managing their condition. Family members and caregivers can also offer more assistance, providing the patient with everything they need for a smoother recovery or better managing their medications or symptoms.

Here is what you need to know about getting occupational therapy at home:

What to Expect from an Occupational Therapy Visit 

Fortunately, you don’t have to prepare anything when OTs or COTAs visit you at home. The first time they visit, they’ll review your medical history, medications, and your home. This specific visit will take much longer than follow-up visits due to the in-depth review, especially when they survey your home for potential hazards that can affect your recovery.

The OT will develop a plan tailored to your recovery, involving the other members of your care team. The program will ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home health care and that your care team can implement all the proper steps to help you manage your condition. Once the care plan is developed, the OT or COTA will visit your home regularly to monitor your progress.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients regain the ability to complete everyday activities, thereby improving their quality of life. It decreases hazards at home like fall risks, helps conserve energy, improves safety at home, and increases a patient’s strength and function. 

Undergoing occupational therapy helps patients regain their previous range of motion, improve their fine and basic motor skills, and decrease other health risks that come with staying sedentary. That way, a patient can recover all the skills they need to perform meaningful activities and potentially return to work.

Eligibility to Receive Occupational Therapy at Home

Fortunately, there are only a few guidelines you need to meet to receive Medicare home health services. You must require skilled nursing care, which is different from custodial services or personal care assistance. You must be under the supervision of a physician who has developed a comprehensive home health plan for you geared to your recovery. You must also have had a meeting with a physician or an authorized non-physician practitioner that discussed your primary diagnosis for home health within the last 90 days. 

Lastly, you must be unable to leave home by yourself without assistance like crutches, canes, wheelchairs, special transportation, or someone else’s help. If this doesn’t apply to you, having a condition that makes it medically unsafe to leave your home makes you eligible for home health care.


Getting occupational therapy at home is a wonderful way to get the treatment you need in safe, familiar surroundings. Many patients often feel isolated when receiving treatment at hospitals or skilled nursing facilities, making home health care a more comfortable alternative. By knowing what to expect when looking for home-based patient care, you can feel more confident about your path to recovery.

Bridge Home Health & Hospice is a team of trained clinicians and therapists providing home-assisted living in San Diego. We treat each patient as a member of our family through our individualized care plans based on their medical, physical, and emotional needs. Contact us today to learn more about the hospice care we can arrange for you.

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