Occupational Therapists are qualified individuals who offer aid to all ages when it comes to daily skills and learning. Home health care therapists help individuals with disabilities or daily needs. This can include bathing, meal preparation, and house cleaning for adults and seniors. It encompasses school, play, and various activities in children. The typical services that are provided in occupational therapy are:
- treatment and assessment of performance skills
- providing guidance to friends, family, and caregivers
- evaluation of the home and work area to provide an adaptation recommendations
- custom programs to increase the individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks and activities
- recommended adaptive equipment and training on how to use
Many of the first questions that one will hear from a therapist will include, “What do you want to change? What do you want to be able to do/accomplish? What matters most to you?” An occupational therapist will help with everyday tasks that seem impossible by making them possible. This can be through means of equipment, adapting a house, or modifying a work space. By providing therapy via the means of everyday activities, National Nursing and Rehab is helping people gain skills via therapy through everyday occupations.
An individual who has succumbed to a recent injury, such as paralysis or loss of a limb, will need occupational therapy to gain new skills for everyday tasks and activities. Physical therapy is the strengthening of an area in order to regain flexibility, control, strength, or more movement. Occupational therapy is taking the physical therapy and putting it to work in everyday life, ensuring that they have the proper means to function to one’s fullest potential.
Many children with disabilities require occupational therapy in order to help them integrate and participate in social settings, school, and activities. By starting occupational therapy at a young age, children can learn and develop skills as they grow, making it much easier to integrate into society without feeling overwhelmed. This can include classroom settings, playgroups, and around the community.
As we get older, our muscles become weaker and it is more difficult to perform daily tasks that used to be easy. An occupational therapist will come into the home of an elderly individual to help with, and modify, daily tasks and activities. This can include anything from helping with bathing by adding special implementations into the bathroom. It can also include special tools or equipment to help those in a wheelchair reach items that are in high places.
No matter what age, the goals are always the same - to help an individual maintain as much independence as possible through special means or modifications. If the outcome is not being properly met, then the plan is changed. Along with a complete evaluation of the individual, there is also an overview of the household and/or workspace to make sure that goals can be met.