“Medicine adds days to life, occupational therapy adds life to days” Madeleine Horton
Occupational therapy (OT) is a healthcare profession that approaches clients holistically and helps individuals impacted by a condition to continue participating in their meaningful everyday activities.
What do OTs focus on?
How our everyday meaningful activities (occupations) are interrupted based on a diagnosis or condition.
The context of the individual
The habits, roles, and routines an individual carries out throughout their life
What skills are needed to be functional in their environment or activity
Concerned about factors that make up the person as a whole such as their values and beliefs in life
There are several occupational domains that OTs look at:
Activities of Daily Living, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Health Management, Rest and Sleep, Education, Work, Play, Leisure, and Social Participation
Examples of these occupations include cooking, cleaning, eating, meal preparation, taking care of pets, going to school, job performance, playing with peers, resting, and having positive social interactions.
What settings can you see us work in?
Emerging practice areas (pelvic floor therapy, mental health, eating disorders)
Skilled nursing facilities
How to seek OT services/ Why would you or someone you know need OT?
You would be referred to by a physician
Anyone can benefit from OT! Individuals seeking OT services usually include:
Injuries after accidents such as a traumatic brain injury
Newly contracted diseases such as COVID-19 virus
New diagnosis such as chronic illness
Development of new conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis or stroke
Children with special challenges such as Autism Spectrum Disorder
Examples of how individuals benefit from OT include more than just the following:
Someone with a stroke benefit from OT by re-learning to engage in self care tasks independently post diagnosis such as dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom.
A child with autism can benefit from OT by learning skills to socialize with their peers at school.
A college student with a brain injury can benefit from OT by working on skills to increase memory and organization in their academic setting.
Someone with carpal tunnel syndrome from typing on the computer all day can benefit from OT by helping to modify their work environment. In this case, OTs will work with clients to limit repetitive wrist movements and pain management.
An OT can benefit someone with Type 2 Diabetes by educating them on how to manage their insulin and implementing a healthy daily routine.
If an individual who is a chef has recently lost their arm, an OT can help them by teaching them to use adaptive equipment to continue to cook.
As you can see, OT can benefit all individuals with a variety of diagnosis and conditions. The goal is to improve your quality of life post condition or injury by helping you be functional in your everyday environment and activities!