What is Occupational Therapy?


October 27th is World Occupational Therapy Day, an international holiday started to educate people on the profession and the benefits of this type of therapy.

Occupational therapy is primarily for people who are experiencing pain, illness, injury or a disability that makes it difficult to perform a job, household chores, or everyday activities.

How Do Occupational Therapists Help Their Clients?

Occupational therapists (OTs) are trained professionals who essentially help clients adapt to the physical limitations they are experiencing. After reading your medical history and performing their own physical evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses, they come up with ways you can change your movements to help you complete tasks. They will also help you become skilled with using assistive devices if needed.

OTs work with people of all ages, from premature babies all the way up to senior citizens. No matter what physical pain or disability you are suffering with, OTs are skilled at coming up with plans to improve the way you move and get your tasks done.

Here are some of the things an OT does for their clients:

  • Prescribe and train the use of assistive devices like raised toilet seats or walkers
  • Teach new ways to button a shirt, tie shoes, get in and out of the shower
  • Help seniors prevent falls in their home or in public area
  • Work with stroke victims to improve balance, memory and build strength
  • Work on motor skills

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?

Anyone who is dealing with an illness, injury or disability that needs help completing tasks should consider working with an occupational therapist. If you are dealing with one of the following health problems, speak with your doctor or care team about working with an OT:

  • Arthritis and chronic pain
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Joint replacement
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Vision problems
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Poor balance
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy

OTs work with their clients wherever it is needed. This means in:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehab centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Nursing or assisted living homes
  • Schools
  • Private practice offices
  • Prisons
  • Corporate offices
  • Industrial workplaces
  • Final Thoughts

Occupational therapy helps people become more independent and perform tasks in a safe manner. If you or a loved one are dealing with an illness, injury or disability and could use assistance, speak to your doctor about referring you to an OT.






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