April is National Occupational Therapy Month and highlights the importance and benefits of OT. It’s a time to raise awareness about how OT works and provide insight if you’re considering this kind of therapy.
What is Occupational Therapy?
It’s a therapeutic approach that focuses on evaluating and treating physical, mental and emotional limitations. Occupational therapy is centered around teaching or reteaching you to perform tasks, or occupations, that support activities of daily living (ADLs), such as feeding and dressing.
Who Can Use Occupational Therapy?
Anyone can participate in occupational therapy. People of all ages and physical capabilities use it to boost their recovery and maintain their independence.
Your physician may prescribe OT if you have any of the following conditions:
- Brain or spinal injury from an illness or accident
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Developmental disabilities
Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy
OT and PT have similarities but are two distinct types of therapeutic approaches that serve different purposes. Daily task performance is the center of OT, and physical therapy mainly focuses on improving physical movement.
You’ll receive individualized therapy plans during OT and PT, but OT requires specific equipment and approaches that address task-based physical needs.
What to Expect During Occupational Therapy
OT is administered in various settings, including hospitals, in- and out-patient facilities, assisted living communities, senior care centers and clinics. You’ll receive treatment, training and education services from an occupational therapist who will evaluate your current physical abilities and identify long-term health goals. You’ll discuss your medical history and detail specific daily tasks that need improvement.
OT will help you improve your movement and skills with:
- Eating, feeding and swallowing
- Bathing and grooming
- Using the toilet
- Household chores
- Medical device care and use
- Functional mobility
You and your occupational therapist will meet regularly for several weeks or months, depending on your health requirements. They will evaluate your performance regularly to track your progress and make necessary adjustments.
Your OT may include training such as:
- Range of motion
- Strength and coordination
- Upper extremity management
- Cognitive, perceptual and visual training
- Home management
You’ll also learn how to approach ADLs in an alternative way to provide ease and comfort. Family and loved ones are encouraged to participate in the education process to help you continue your therapy at home.
Benefits of Occupational Therapy
Participating in occupational therapy allows you to:
- Improve your health and overall quality of life.
- Prevent delays in your recovery after surgery or illness.
- Reduce your risk of rehospitalization or readmission.
- Lower your risk of joint pain and deformities.
- Improve your range of motion.
- Improve your daily task performance.
- Reduce your reliance on caregivers.
- Include other kinds of therapeutic techniques to create a comprehensive program.
- Receive personalized attention that’s specific to your recovery needs.
- Lead an independent and productive lifestyle.
SavaSeniorCare offers comprehensive physical, speech and occupational therapies to ensure each patient optimizes their recovery. Our therapists want to know what matters to you and rely on your input to provide you with the treatment plan you need to regain daily living skills. Call 800-929-4762 or contact us online for more information.