When we start our initial assessment with a patient we will get a background history from them, as well as gaining their family/next of kin/friends/carers or significant others perspective about their normal level of function i.e. how they normally manage daily activities, if they use mobility equipment to assist with walking, what they normally need help with, was there anything about their home environment that was difficult, such as steps, stairs or trip hazards.
Anything that was difficult to manage previously is likely to be even more difficult following a bout of illness.
Once we establish what was normal for that person, prior to their illness, we can start to assess how possible it is to get them back to that level of function and safely plan their discharge home.
We primarily assess patients on the wards and in our OT Assessment Unit, where we have a mock kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. We assess how patients manage activities of daily living (ADLs) by observing them completing functional activities.
Through the assessment and practice of these activities it is possible to establish how well a patient can tolerate the completion of these tasks, whether they have the necessary range of movement, energy and stamina to manage them, as well as whether their cognitive abilities enable them to attend to activities in a logical and ordered manner.