What Is Occupational Therapy?
In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
Occupational Therapists provide customized treatment programs designed to improve your ability to perform self-care, work and leisure tasks. Therapies may include adaptive equipment training, splint fabrication, hand therapy, scar and edema management, joint protections techniques, postural strengthening, cognitive retraining, balance, and coordination.
Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all areas of their lives. It gives people the “skills for the job of living” necessary for independent and satisfying lives.