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Occupational therapy is a client-centered health profession that provides skilled services to help individuals participate in meaningful and purposeful activities of everyday life, achieve independence, and gain fulfillment in all aspects of their lives. Occupational therapists work to promote health and well-being of individuals with developmental, neurological, psychological, social, and cognitive impairments through engagement in occupation (everyday activities).
Who needs Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages, communities, and populations. The scope of Occupational Therapy is wide, thus services may be necessary or recommended across the lifespan in a variety of settings and environments. Easter Seals occupational therapists work in homes, day habilitation facilities and community centers, skilled nursing homes, and schools. Occupational therapy may be recommended in the following areas:
Early Intervention: Occupational therapists work to promote function and engagement of infants and toddlers and their families in everyday routines by addressing activities of daily living, play, sleep, and social development
Day Habilitation Programs: Occupational therapists provide consultative services for individuals with physical, mental, and social impairments with the aim to increase independent living skills, promote community involvement, and support overall good physical and mental health.
Skilled Nursing Homes: Occupational therapists work with individuals requiring short term rehabilitative care and long term care. Short term care may include individuals following an illness or injury, such as stroke, broken bones, or joint replacement, while long term care provides services to those with chronic or progressive illnesses, such as dementia. Occupational therapists work to rehabilitate and restore the individual’s independence through self-care training, use of adaptive equipment, compensatory techniques, and environmental modifications.
Schools: Occupational therapists work as part of a larger team with students to improve their performance in all areas of the school environment (classroom, playground, cafeteria, bathroom, etc). Occupational therapists address fine motor, gross motor, visual motor, visual perceptual, and sensory processing difficulties to enable students to participate in all aspects of school life.
How can Occupational Therapy help me?
Occupational therapists use a variety of different treatment strategies to:
Increase individual's function and optimize their independence in all settings.
Increase participation in and performance of daily activities that are meaningful to the individual.
Increase independence in daily living skills, such as dressing, eating, bathing and vocational pursuits.
Improve muscle strength and range of motion through activities.
Develop play skills and leisure interests.
Provide compensatory approaches, such as adapting and modifying the environment for improved functional independence.
Provide education to patients, families, and caregivers.