What do Occupational Therapy Assistants do in home health settings…

A day in the life of a home health Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

I have been practicing as a COTA for nine years now and during this time I have worked across  many settings. I have found that my passion is working with the geriatric population in their own environment. I enjoy my job, because I get to be involved in their ADL/IADL tasks to help them become as independent as possible.  While working under my care, they continue to address goals, to fulfill their roles with purposeful activities. Because their goals are purposeful, it makes them more willing to participate.  As a COTA, my role is to assess their environment, find challenges that hinder their performance and modify the environment if needed. Everyday with each patient there is something new and challenging that keeps the patients involved during their treatment session. Some days are harder in the home health setting than others due to the range of disabilities, diseases, and decreased motivation I may encounter. There are challenges that come along with the job including limited funds, decreased mental health, lack of caregiver support, poor living environment, lack of adaptive equipment, and assistive devices. 

This job requires dedication and motivation. I am always dedicated to my job because I love being involved with my patients and the knowledge they share. You have to be motivated, because you are the one who continues to keep the individual going with making progress towards their goals. The outcomes are the benefits of my job. When I see someone progress to the level they can perform tasks to their maximum potential gives me peace of mind each day I work. Having a patient or caregiver tell me thank you for all of your time and help is the reward at the end of the day. I can come home to my family knowing I changed someone’s life to help them fulfil their roles in what brings them joy throughout the rest of their lives.  

This blog is part of our ‘What do Occupational Therapists do…’ series to celebrate OT month.

Author: Kristin Fairchild

  1. Nadine Fairchild says:

    I know that OTA is a major role in medicine and healing in a patient’s care. Doctors do the diagnosis, but it’s others like you that do the work to make the progress after the result of what’s addressed in health issue. I’m thankful for OTA because of family that’s needed the help your profession offers. Yes, it includes working with you from the patients participation which at times does hurt, making body parts cooperate does take work. I’m thankful that people like you choose this profession. It makes a difference when you love your job and care about the outcome of the people you take care of


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