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How does telehealth occupational therapy WORK?

By Imago Rehab, as featured on LinkedIn
3 minutes

When we talk to prospective clients about our virtual occupational therapy program for adults with stroke…this is the question we get asked the most:

“How does telehealth occupational therapy WORK?”

Over the past 50 or more years, therapy following stroke has occurred 1) in a clinic or hospital, 2) with hands-on assistance from therapists and aides, and 3) not very effectively for the upper limb. Did you know up to 80% of stroke survivors have arm and hand impairments one year post stroke? Our program is completely different. Imago Rehab virtual OT happens 1) in the comforts of your home, 2) with you in the driver’s seat of your rehab experience, and 3) with great effectiveness!

Telehealth Basics

Telehealth is healthcare provided virtually. Originally, telehealth was created to bring healthcare to rural areas where medical access can be limited. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in using this virtual platform to deliver all kinds of healthcare services. For occupational therapists, working with clients in their homes with their own belongings and in their own environments is ideal as this is where occupations occur and where intervention needs to happen.

What do I need in my home to do telehealth occupational therapy?

For our sessions, people typically use a laptop, tablet/iPad, or even their phone. A bigger device is best so we can see you well and you can see us. We work together to get the proper positioning of the video feed and the right angle for what the therapist needs to see. Sometimes we even have clients use two devices in the same video call (a phone and a laptop, for example) to help us see different angles of the client’s body movement.

We also recommend clients keep a therapy basket nearby that has different household items such that we can use different rooms or setups throughout the session. Using your own items for therapy helps apply real-life components to our work in OT. For more information about making your own therapy basket, find our “telehealth tips” on our website.

What is a telehealth OT session like?

First, the therapist and client will log in at the appointment time via a link provided by email. We make sure we can see and hear each other and debrief about the client’s home action plan, progress from the previous session, and plan/goals for the current session. We usually have our clients set themselves up at a table top where we can see their whole upper body, arm, hand, and whatever else might be needed that session.

After that, we have our clients warm up and prepare their bodies for the session. The warm up might involve some self-stretching or range of motion exercises Then, we do movement practice where we continue to prepare your body and arm for a functional task by actively engaging the affected arm and hand. Finally, we often work together on a functional task that is meaningful to our client and will help them reach their goals.

Sometimes we’re not quite ready for that functional task so we focus more on the preparatory movements and sometimes we focus more on that functional task because we’re on a roll that day. These components of the session are FLEXIBLE and can be altered based on the needs of the client, what their energy level is that day, and what will help them reach their goals.

What do I do outside of my telehealth OT sessions?

AH, that answer is our secret sauce! What we can tell you right now is our clients say to us:

“I’ve never had therapy like this before”


“this is the most effective therapy I’ve ever tried”

and often

“I wish I had started with you a long time ago.”


Don’t delay your recovery another minute…call or click today to get started.

Check out our Instagram page where you can see client testimonials and client progress videos, accomplished WITHOUT spending time driving to a clinic or having someone move your arm for you. Let us show you how.

Get your body working again.

Simply complete our online request form and one of our intake coordinators will contact you within one business day.