April marks the recognized celebration of National Occupational Therapy Month. You may wonder, “what is occupational therapy exactly?” According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Treatments with an occupational therapist typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized plan to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
At the Therapy Center, you will find occupational therapists providing services in a variety of settings including hospitals, in the patient’s home, in skilled nursing facilities, and in our outpatient clinics. View our infographic for more on the common conditions occupational therapists treat in hands, hips, shoulders, and head.