About Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy helps individuals overcome physical, mental, or developmental challenges so that they can participate in daily activities and their occupations. From helping a child learn to hold a pencil and write to assisting a stroke survivor in regaining the ability to dress themselves, occupational therapy can help anybody with a developmental disability learn new skills for independence.
Occupational therapists work with individuals who have a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability or patients who are recovering from an injury or illness. This highly personalized therapy typically involves using a variety of techniques and interventions, such as therapeutic exercise, task-specific training, adaptive equipment, and assistive technology, to help people develop, recover, or maintain the skills required for daily living and working.
Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy?
Children with developmental disabilities
A child who is diagnosed with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, or Down syndrome may benefit from occupational therapy because it can help them develop their skills and abilities as well as improve their quality of life.
Occupational therapists design and implement individualized treatment programs for children with specific problems related to speech or language, sensory integration, motor development, or cognitive or intellectual functioning. Therapists also provide parents with information, guidelines, and resources regarding their child’s condition.
They work closely with the child’s family and other professionals to make sure that they are getting all the help they need.
Adults recovering from debilitating injuries
Patients suffering from incapacitating injuries such as a stroke or a brain injury can recover quicker and better with the help of occupational therapy. Occupational therapists optimize their patients’ use of skills and abilities by applying their knowledge of human movement and function as well as their rehabilitation skills. A stroke patient, for instance, learns how to feed themselves so that they can start eating independently once again. Or a person who has suffered a brain injury can get back to their normal daily activities like getting out of bed, brushing their teeth, or dressing.
Seniors with age-related challenges
Occupational therapists assist seniors with age-related issues like arthritis and dementia. Because they are trained in the use of assistive technology, occupational therapists recommend devices to help seniors with arthritis or dementia live more comfortably by teaching them new skills and strategies for carrying out daily tasks.
People with chronic conditions
Chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease impede the patient’s ability to perform daily functions and affect their overall quality of life. Occupational therapy can train them on coping strategies and learning mechanisms that help them manage their symptoms and live more fulfilling lives. Occupational therapists can give them detailed instructions on how to take care of certain tasks following the loss of their faculties.
Individuals with mental health conditions
Anxiety and depression can cause difficulty with concentration and focus, leaving patients with fatigue and making it difficult for them to complete tasks in their occupation. But with occupational therapy, their therapists work with them to develop a personalized therapy regimen and strategies for managing their abilities. They help people feel more confident in their abilities and happy at work by helping them set goals, learn how to solve problems, and engage in other interventions.
Benefits of Occupational Therapy
A person’s cognitive, physical, and motor skills, as well as their capacity to communicate and interact with others, can all be improved through occupational therapy. Its range of benefits includes, but is not limited to:
- Improved physical strength, better coordination, and increased endurance.
- Reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and self-esteem, and better overall mental well-being.
- Improved social skills, developed relationships, and became more involved in their communities.
- Enhanced cognitive functioning, such as better memory and problem-solving skills, can make it easier for them to perform daily tasks and make decisions.
- Help people identify and address any safety risks in their environment, such as tripping hazards or difficulties with reaching items, which can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
What to expect during Occupational Therapy
An occupational therapist (OT) will typically conduct a needs and ability assessment at the start of each appointment. This helps them create a tailored treatment plan later.
- The OT starts by reviewing the person’s medical history and asking them questions about their daily lives. They may then request to observe the person perform specific tasks.
- Depending on the circumstances, an OT may also evaluate the individual’s living and working conditions to identify areas for growth.
- They may advise elderly people suffering from memory loss to label their kitchen cabinets or install a handrail for those who have difficulty moving around.
- The OT will next create a treatment plan after gathering information about the client’s current situation and desired outcomes; this plan will detail the specific activities and interventions the OT thinks are necessary to help the client reach their goals.
- They may propose specialized equipment, such as eating aids or a wheelchair and provide assistance with its use. They can also recommend changes to the environment, such as reorganizing furniture or making adjustments to the layout of a room.
- The OT works closely with the patient, family, or caregivers to set goals that are tailored to meet individual needs.
- Over the course of the treatment, an OT will evaluate the patient’s development after a few weeks or months. They will inquire about the individual’s progress toward achieving their objectives. If required, they may also advise modifications to the treatment plan at this time.
Let us help you
When every person is different with their own unique issues and needs, why should their occupational therapy be the same? When you work with us, we take the time to really understand what you require and what your goals are. We won’t just give you a cookie-cutter approach—we’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that’s tailored to you.
Our occupational therapists take time and effort to understand every single one of their patients and use their extensive knowledge and experience to provide their patients with the best care possible.