Skip to main content

April is Occupational Therapy Month

Occupational Therapists are experts in helping people perform the day to day activities that they need and want to do. They take a person-centered approach to healing, incorporating individualization of the plan of care to each unique client’s goals. Occupational Therapists include a mind-body approach into all aspects of care, healing bodies and minds together to promote full body wellness. The success of Occupational Therapy intervention is achieved through designing strategies for everyday living and customizing environments to maximize potential and independence.

Within the older adult population, OTs often specialize in improving the following areas:

  • Contracture Management
  • Edema Management
  • Sleep Management
  • Fall Reduction
  • Self-Care
  • Pain
  • Low Vision
  • Cognition
  • Continence

Encore Rehabilitation’s Occupational Therapists are here to help your Residents achieve their goals and maintain their independence.

For additional information please reach out to your therapy department or

Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by both motor and non-motor symptoms. Every April we take time to bring awareness to Parkinson’s Disease and how we as health professionals can care for these residents.

Studies have shown that people with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease visit the emergency department at higher rates and have longer stays. Therefore, in order to keep our residents within the comfort of their familiar environment, there are key areas that should be closely monitored:

Timely medication administration is vital for residents who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Each person who is diagnosed with this disease is prescribed an individualized, timed, medication regimen. If medication administration is delayed by as little as one hour, there is a likelihood of an immediate increase in tremors, rigidity, loss of balance, confusion, agitation and difficulty communicating. Maintaining timely administration can have a positive impact on their functional abilities, and reduce the risk for falls and hospitalization. Not only does it have a functional impact, but it can also increase the resident’s confidence in their care, and help build strong relationships with the resident and their care partners.

Monitoring functional changes is a key area to reduce hospitalizations in our residents with Parkinson’s Disease. With quick detection of changes, and effective communication, we can better maintain function and independence, and reduce the risk of hospitalization from decline or fall.

  • Muscle stiffness, Gait patterns and Balance

One significant cause of hospitalization for our residents with Parkinson’s are falls. The motor symptoms that come with the disease lend themselves to decreased balance and difficulty with coordinated movement, causing decreased functional independence and ultimately falls.

  • Incontinence

Incontinence can be a symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. Often times, these residents feel an increased urge to urinate more frequently. With the onset of incontinence, residents may feel the need to get to the bathroom quickly, leading to falls. They may experience involuntary leaking of urine, leading to increased frequency of UTIs.

  • Cognitive Changes

As Parkinson’s Disease progresses, cognitive deficits can increase in severity and impact daily function. With this progression comes changes in memory, safety awareness, information processing and decision making.

  • Dysphagia

More than 80% of residents diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease develop dysphagia over the course of their disease progression. If undetected, or untreated, dysphagia can cause a difficulty with consumption leading to weight loss, malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia.

Together, we can make a positive impact on our patients with Parkinson’s Disease by reducing their risk of hospitalization and maintain their quality of life by keeping them under our care. If you would like more information about how your partnership with Encore can help with this initiative, please reach out to the Regional Vice President for your facility.

As you may already know, CMS has announced big changes to the MDS process coming later this year. Be prepared and ready for the MDS changes that will be taking place this coming October!

Encore is working hard to make this a smooth transition. We are preparing various education and training topics related to these changes to better prepare YOU – our partners.

Stay tuned for a training series dedicated to MDS changes for Nurses, MDS Coordinators, Care Providers AND Nursing Assistants on topics such as:

  • Removal of Section G and Transition to Section GG
  • Sections A, B, D, Social detriments of health
  • Section N: indication of use for medications, schizophrenia diagnoses, and survey and Five-Star ramifications
  • Sections A, B, and D and the transfer of health information SNF QRP measures

Additional information will be coming soon. If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to your Regional Vice President or contact

-Encore Rehabilitation’s monthly publication, designed to give you updates on trends we are seeing in the Post-Acute Care industry.-

Let’s Connect