Have you heard of occupational therapists? Many people confuse them with physical therapists or standard mental health therapists, but occupational therapists have their own important role.
But what is the occupational therapist role? What does an occupational therapist do that other types of therapists can’t do?
We’re here to talk about it. Keep reading to learn all about occupational therapy and when someone may want to seek it out.
What Do Occupational Therapists Do?
Occupational therapists help people live their daily lives despite their disabilities or complications. They work with people of all ages.
An occupational therapist will work with a patient to determine a proper treatment plan. They’ll see where the patient’s shortcomings are so they can help them develop new strengths and live comfortably with less help.
For elderly or disabled adults, this often means that they’ll prescribe assistive devices, work with motor functions, and improve home organization. They may also work on basic strengthening and balance activities.
They can also help people with behavioral problems. They can work on emotional control, coping mechanisms, and more.
Occupational therapists can help people get back to work or school, eat without help, play sports or do other leisure activities, bathe, and otherwise take care of themselves. Their goal is to help their patients be as self-sufficient as possible with the limitations that they have.
Overall, an occupational therapist does a lot of work that other types of therapists also do, but they treat a person holistically. This service is all-inclusive.
Who Should See an Occupational Therapist?
Many types of people can benefit from occupational therapy.
Often, people think of occupational therapy as it relates to young children with neurodivergencies such as ADHD and autism. These children may struggle with daily activities or school. Early intervention with occupational therapy is a great way to set these children up for success.
Some occupational therapists prefer to work with people who are recovering from serious surgeries or injuries. They’ll help their patient with mobility, motor skills, and adapting to their new limitations.
Common injuries that require occupational therapy include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Joint issues (or joint replacement)
They’ll also help with conditions such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Various mental health conditions
Occupational therapists also often work with people who are elderly but who are also still trying to maintain some level of independence. They can reduce dangerous falls and help elderly people live without caregivers.
Basically, if someone is struggling to participate in necessary activities, an occupational therapist is a great resource.
Occupational Therapists: Is One Right for You?
Occupational therapists do a lot of work to help their patients. They want to help their patients thrive despite their limitations. They’re fantastic resources for anyone who needs extra help with day-to-day tasks and activities.
If you or a loved one is in need of help, contact your local occupational therapist today. For more helpful articles about health and more, visit the rest of the site.