What is occupational therapy?
A form of therapy for those recovering from or living with a physical or mental illness, injury or disability. Rehabilitation therapies encourage individuals to regain important skills needed to perform activities of daily life (ADL), and provides supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
How can occupational therapy help?
The goal of occupational therapy is to make people live as independently as possible. Occupational therapists teach by the motto “live life to its fullest.” They help patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. A primary goal of OT is energy preservation. OT often modifies daily routines at home to help preserve energy and make things easier depending on the individual’s injury or disability. Occupational therapy touches on many areas, including:
- Cognition – activities that improve memory, problem-solving and organization.
- Fall prevention – helping patients walk steadily. Making the home environment safer by, for instance, removing throw rugs from the household can help.
- Caregiver education – patients’ caregivers can learn skills to help them take the best care of people during and after treatment.
- Low vision – Occupational therapists can also assist patients dealing with double vision, or difficulty seeing in low light. Some solutions might include adding a nightlight to certain areas of the home, or making the transition from carpet to tile more obvious.
If you or a loved one are recovering from an accident, injury or disability, or living with a chronic illness, and feel occupational therapy may be right for you, speak with your doctor.