ILOTA Communique December 2017 Communique | Page 4

Jamie Angell, OTR/L Katie Nagy, OTR/L QMHP Jamie Rotter, OTR/L, QMHP Finding Purpose through Occupational Engagement, Motivation, and Coffee! In a flash of an eye, Sam’s* life was turned upside down. He lost his job, lost his home, and lost his sense of purpose and life direction. During this time, he reported experiencing symptoms of depression, stating, “I can feel like there is no way out. Just hopeless. Down. Trapped.” Sam’s journey led him to be admitted to a nursing home where he lived for three years. Sam is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, self-reports symptoms of depression and anxiety, is legally blind, but prides himself on being independent and self-sufficient. While residing in the nursing home, Sam was offered limited opportunity to be independent. The staff cleaned his room, washed his laundry, prepared his meals, brought him his medication and made sure he was seen regularly by a physician and psychiatrist. He was not able to leave the facility without a staff escort, and was limited to staying in his room or sitting in the courtyard. In this dependent environment, personal responsibility and self-determination was stripped and difficult to re-learn. Sam was eventually linked to a community behavioral health organization, Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare, for possible transition to an apartment in the community through the Colbert Consent Decree. The nursing home staff was uncertain about Sam’s ability to live in the community, and before making the jump to living in an apartment on his own, Sam had to re-learn and develop independent living skills to be successful. The occupational therapists at Trilogy had the unique opportunity to provide skill building prior to Sam’s transition to living in the community. The OT facilitated opportunities for Sam to engage in the everyday tasks he was not afforded the opportunity to engage in in his restrictive environment. The OT engaged him in community activities, social skill building through interactions with community members, and IADLs such as grocery shopping, money management, and laundry. The OT supported Sam in developing safe ways to prepare meals in our fully functioning “practice apartment,” and *The client’s name has been changed to protect his privacy Page  identified available activity modifications to support increased safety and independence in the kitchen. Before Sam was ready to take on the day, like so many of us, he needed a cup of coffee to get going. The OT focused on community mobility, by increasing his comfort navigating to local coffee shops, grocery stores, community parks, and supported the development of strategies to navigate the sidewalks, and crosswalks. Sam benefitted from strategies to decrease impulsive behavior while navigating the community and the opportunity to problem solve Continued on Page 5