I've been inside a lot of homes. From mud huts in the Middle East to palatial mansions throughout the US. Though the aesthetics can vary, every home has a story. Some homes have been in families for generations. Some may be historical landmarks and are well known in our communities. While other homes may represent a new chapter in life, "the starter home" or having to acquire a new space to "downsize." Whatever the history, chapter in our lives, or notoriety- these places are our homes. They are a reference point in our lives and can embody a state of mind- a potentially personal part of ourselves that we share with other people.
How we identify meaning
at home whether through shared responsibilities, or lone endeavors, signifies who we are as people. I am privileged to not only witness this on a daily basis, but I receive a life time of gratification in assisting people maintain, achieve, and rediscover meaning found through purposeful activity
in their homes.
I am perplexed as to why the profession of occupational therapy does not boast a stronger presence in homes vs institutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics only 9% of occupational therapists in the US are working in people's homes ( http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-3
). Keep in mind that institutional therapeutic goals generally promote functional performance at home...so why aren't we there as much??? I understand the need for clinical modalities and that a persons medical complexities may preclude them from being treated at home...but in many cases it does not. Home is part of who we are. How can we as therapists continue to overlook this? I cannot.
I know it's not easy to let someone new into your home. It can be very revealing and for private people it can be downright uncomfortable. However, the presence of a therapist is something to embrace. We're here to help you! If you're a sports fan think of it like having a home field advantage for an entire season! Being in YOUR environment versus some where else stacks the deck in your favor. It's my honor and privilege to be helping you in your home.