Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping patients of all ages develop the skills they need to excel in their daily lives.
Occupational therapists help patients excel in:
- Recreational activities
- Social settings
- Household tasks
Patients may need to undergo occupational therapy if they have developed a disability, are recovering from an injury, such as a stroke, or have undergone surgery.
By equipping patients to fulfill daily activities, occupational therapy helps improve the quality of life for many patients.
Conditions Treated by Occupational Therapy
Patients diagnosed with the following conditions or suffering from the following symptoms may need to undergo occupational therapy:
- Depression and anxiety
- Brain injury, Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementia
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Down’s syndrome
- Duchene muscular dystrophy
- Developmental delay
- Learning difficulties
- Sensory processing disorder
- Spina bifida
The Role of Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists (OTs):
- Provide practical advice and support to help patients complete daily activities, such as eating, bathing, dressing, working in the office, and cleaning the home
- Develop ways to adapt a patient’s environment according to the things they want and need to do
- Support patients of all ages
OTs can help patients:
- Undergoing physical changes to continue working
- Experiencing changes in how they think or remember things to continue working
- Diagnosed with disabilities fully participate in school, social situations, hobbies, or sports
Throughout the course of treatment, occupational therapists will:
- Work with the patient and their family to set goals
- Design a custom treatment plan that will help the patient complete everyday activities and reach their goals
- Review the patient’s progress
- Adjust the treatment plan as necessary
What To Expect During Occupational Therapy
During an occupational therapy appointment, the medical professional will evaluate the patient’s abilities and goals. The methods used during the evaluation will depend on the patient’s unique circumstances and needs.
Typically, the therapist will begin by reviewing the patient’s medical history and asking questions about their daily activities. Patients may also be asked to demonstrate their ability to fulfill daily tasks so that the OT can see what areas need improvement and create a personalized treatment plan.
The OT might also visit the patient’s home, school, or workplace to observe their behavior and identify areas that need attention. For example, seniors experiencing memory loss may benefit from labeling kitchen cabinets. Seniors struggling to move around may benefit from a handrail in the bathroom.
Once the OT has a clear understanding of the patient’s circumstances and needs, they will develop a personalized treatment plan. Patients may receive recommendations for special equipment, such as eating aids or a wheelchair. Or, they may receive training to use helpful tools. After a few weeks or months, the OT will assess the patient’s progress and make adjustments as necessary to ensure patients are moving towards their goals.
Active Plus Home Health Care, Inc. has a team of healthcare professionals trained to provide occupational therapy to patients of all ages. Give us a call to learn more!