Learning To Live Again

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The Payson Care Center Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Occupational Therapy during the month of April.

The center has a very experienced staff, working with both in-house and outpatient clients in occupational therapy. The five-member team has a total of 40 years experience. Lead OT Therapist Richard Staudt has the most years in the business, with 15.

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Payson Care Center's lead occupational therapist, Richard Staudt, who recently joined the center staff, works with patient Marion Baumgartner. Baumgartner suffers from emphysema and is building her strength through occupational therapy in order to take care of herself, her home and her husband.

"Occupational therapy is everything you do from the time you wake up until you go to bed," Staudt said. It includes personal care, home management, driving, work, dealing with cognitive skills, social interaction and low vision.

Manager of the center's rehabilitation services, Bryan Stiverson, has five years in the business and said, "Occupational therapy is a health profession that focuses on an individual's ability to participate in daily activities and lead a purposeful life.

"There are times when a health problem or injury can prevent you from participating in life's daily activities, like learning, working, socializing, driving, shopping, fixing dinner, phoning a friend or doing any number of important tasks. Occupational therapy can help a person to do all of these things, and more."

The staff provides occupational therapy to between 25 and 30 of Payson Care Center's residents and six outpatient clients.

In addition to Stiverson and Staudt, the OT staff includes Denise Miller and part-time assistants, Annette Lanman and David Langtiene.

The type of OT patients receive depends on their condition. Some of the in-house clients have varying degrees of dementia, Stoudt said. "We have to be more creative with these clients."

The goal of all OT is to maximize the potential of each individual. The patient base includes pediatric clients, people in the work force, as well as men and women recovering from an illness or disability.

The staff tries to give the clients tools to continue re-building their life skills. They do home visits to make sure the patient's environment is compatible with his or her abilities. And when the patients go home, they have exercises and routines to follow to get back to their regular lives.

It is a growing field, Stiverson said.

"Generally, it is a field dominated by women, but here at the center, we have a good mix of both men and women providing OT services," he said.

As part of the celebration of National Occupational Therapy Month, representatives from the Payson Care Center's OT staff will participate in the April 14 Business Showcase.

From 2 to 4 p.m. April 27, the staff will provide free screenings at the center. Call and register by Monday, April 23. To reserve a spot for OT screening, call (928) 474-6896.

To take advantage of Payson Care Center's outpatient OT services have your doctor provide a referral and check with the center's business office to see if the services are covered by your insurance.

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