Occupational therapy is a type of therapy aimed to assist patients to be able to resume their daily activities such as eating, bathing, using the toilet, transferring in or out of bed, or using the wheelchair. as independently as possible.
At a glance, it looks similar to physical therapy and although the end goal is the same, but it is different by principle because occupational therapy focuses on the recovery of abilities in doing daily tasks while physical therapy focuses on the recovery of muscle strength.
Especially for older patients, occupational therapy will focus on daily activities. Along with age, one can find it difficult to perform simple tasks such as swallowing, chewing, bathing, or moving one place to another. Some people need to re-learn how to do those activities after stroke. Occupational therapy also assists patients to stay independent at their homes and tackling with dementia, arthritis, or other medical conditions.
Occupational therapy includes:
- Performing individual assessment with patient/family to assess the patient’s current condition and the therapy’s needs and goals.
- Adjusting the program to improve the patient’s ability to perform daily tasks and reach the program’s goals.
- Final evaluation to ensure the target has been reached or determining adjustments needed for the program.
Who needs occupational therapy:
- Children with autism, ADHD, sensory disorder, or physical disabilities to be able to perform daily activities at home or at school.
- People with physical limitations or medical problems such as stroke, accident, brain injury, or chronic illness.
- Mental illness to aid with problem solving or understanding emotions.
More than that, occupational therapist can provide advices to make the environment safer and accessible, give caregiver training, or introduce technology use.