Every April, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) celebrates National Occupational Therapy Month (OT Month) to raise awareness about the profession of occupational therapy and the impact that occupational therapists have on people’s lives.
This year’s theme, “Occupational Therapy Brings Possibilities to Life, “recognizes how therapists help their patients achieve goals and participate in meaningful activities that give them purpose and fulfillment.
Occupational Therapy: A Profession That Helps People Live Better Lives
Occupational therapy is a health profession that helps people engage in the everyday activities that are important to them. Occupational therapists assess an individual’s abilities and needs and then develop and implement interventions to help the person achieve their goals.
Occupational therapy can treat various conditions, including disabilities, illnesses, injuries, age-related changes, and mental health conditions.
Occupational therapists work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and homes. They may also work in private practice or government agencies.
What Do Occupational Therapists Do?
Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to help them achieve their full potential and help them adapt, develop, recover, and maintain the skills they need for daily living, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, driving, work-related skills, leisure activities, and social participation.
Some specific tasks that occupational therapists may perform include: assessing a person’s abilities and needs, developing and implementing treatment plans, providing hands-on therapy, educating patients and families about occupational therapy, and advocating for patients.
They work with their patients to identify their goals and the barriers that are keeping them from achieving them and, once identified, create a personalized treatment plan which may include interventions such as:
1. Activities of daily living (ADL) training: This involves helping people improve their ability to perform basic self-care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.
2. Adaptive equipment: Occupational therapists may recommend and train people to use adaptive equipment such as grab bars, shower chairs, or specialized utensils to help them perform daily activities.
3. Environmental modifications: This may involve changing the person’s home or workplace to make it more accessible and safe.
4. Cognitive and perceptual training: This may involve exercises to improve memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
5. Sensory integration therapy: This involves using activities to help people with sensory processing disorders to integrate better and respond to sensory input.
6. Work-related therapy: Occupational therapists may help people improve their work-related skills such as time management, organization, and communication.
7. Leisure and social participation: Occupational therapists may help people identify and participate in leisure activities that bring them joy and help them connect with others.
The Benefits of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy uses a client-centered approach, meaning the person receiving it is actively involved in treatment planning and decision-making. By ensuring therapy is tailored to the individual, the patient’s needs are better addressed, providing better results toward their specific needs.
Occupational therapy provides so many benefits to people of all ages, including:
• Improved function
• Increased independence
• Reduced pain
• Improved quality of life
• Increased participation in
• Reduced stress
How to Find an Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapy is a vital healthcare profession that helps people of all ages and abilities to participate in meaningful activities and achieve their goals. If you could benefit from occupational therapy, ask your primary care physician for a referral or call Burke Therapy at 706-437-2643.