Research indicates that older adults treated with a “client-centered” focus and approach show positive results in meaningful engagement, socialization, activity tolerance, UB/LB strength, ADLs, IADLs, balance, emotional well-being, motivation, participation and overall quality of life (Law, 2002). Our goal is to improve the overall quality of life for Carrollton Health and Rehab residents by including meaningful functional activities of choice in our clients’ treatment plans.


We began our research by meeting as a rehab team and reviewing our current treatment approaches. Through our discussion, the Carrollton Health and Rehab team identified the following process to better assist our clients:

  1. Identify clients’ occupational needs
  2. Provide active and meaningful tasks that engage our clients
  3. Evaluate their occupational performance based on functional activities provided


In order to assess client needs, our therapists used the following standardized assessments to assist in addressing occupational performance:

  • Physical Therapy: Tinetti, Timed Up and Go, 30-second sit to stand, Berg balance
  • Occupational Therapy: Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, BaFPE, Kels, Activity Index & Meaningfulness of Activity, Florey Occupational Role and screen interview, Leisure Profile for Adults/Seniors
  • Speech Therapy: MOCA, SLUMS


  • PT: Treatments to improving gait and balance included walking outdoors on uneven surfaces, playing sports, dancing, and cultural group with activities that were fun and challenging
  • OT: Treatments included cooking, decorating during holidays, crafts, planting, flower arranging and any meaningful client-oriented functional task
  • ST: Treatments included medication management, menu reading, playing fun cognitive games and tasks to assist with cognition


Therapists evaluated their interventions by answering an informal yes/no survey and program evaluation. The overall findings were that the therapists at Carrollton Health and Rehab were successful in providing fun, functional tasks to help their clients achieve their overall goals and to improve quality of life.

By Julie Hebert, OTR, OTD, Carrollton Health and Rehabilitation Center, Carrollton, TX