What Do Occupational Therapists Do?

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy is a specialized branch of health care that focuses on evaluation and treatment to assist individuals improve their abilities to perform basic living activities like bathing, cooking, traveling, and working.

Occupational therapists provide their services with the aim of enabling individuals to lead fulfilling lives, even in spite of serious health problems or disabilities.

People of all ages—from infants to seniors—may benefit from the services of an occupational therapist!

But what do they actually *do*? Find out…

Understanding Occupational Therapy

The word “occupation” is filled with meaning when referring to occupational therapy. A child who struggles with learning simple math facts may receive occupational therapy to help her improve her computation skills. A young adult who injured his leg in a car accident might be seen by occupational therapist for assistance in learning how to walk again and support his physical needs while he heals.

Here are some examples: 

  • An Occupational Therapist helps a patient with their everyday tasks. 
  • An Occupational Therapist devises ways to make daily routines easier. 
  • An Occupational Therapist works with individuals who are having problems with fine motor skills, coordination, or are physically challenged in some way. 

Occupational Therapists Can Treat Anyone

Occupational therapists are passionate about helping people of all ages achieve greater independence and quality of life! For example, occupational therapists may help children learn how to play on their own by giving them creative toys that can be manipulated in different ways. 

Occupational therapists might also assist adults suffering from arthritis complete tasks at home or work by providing ergonomic tools that ease the strain of common household chores like sweeping or cooking dinner. Senior citizens working with an occupational therapist may learn techniques to stay safe while living alone, such as how to use a walker or manage medications.

No matter the age or circumstance, an individual’s occupation is vitally important to their quality of life. That’s where occupational therapists come in! They help patients find ways to participate in the activities that are most meaningful to them, adapting tasks and providing support along the way. 

This might include anything from helping a child with autism learn how to communicate with others at school, to teaching an elderly patient how to use a new kind of medication dispenser.

When Do You Need to See an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational therapists provide their services to individuals who have been referred to them for extra help. Some people choose to see an occupational therapist on their own, even if they do not suffer from a specific disability or medical condition.

People often seek out the assistance of an occupational therapist when they are going through difficult times in their lives and need some guidance coping with these challenges. For example, a young adult recovering from a surgery may want to resume activities as soon as possible and might turn to an occupational therapist for advice on how best to rehabilitate themselves without putting too much strain on their body.

In other cases, people may be recommended by a physician or another health care provider. It is important that patients let their doctor know whether or not they are receiving occupational therapy to ensure that all issues are being addressed.

When talking with your doctor, it is helpful to be aware of what symptoms may require evaluation by an occupational therapist. These might include: 

Difficulty performing self-care activities (e.g., dressing or bathing) Difficulty using tools needed for daily living activities (e.g., eating utensils, can opener, telephone) Difficulty completing common tasks at home/at work Challenges participating in school/work

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or know someone who is, you should talk to your primary healthcare provider about whether or not you need the help of an occupational therapist! An ounce of prevention…

Occupational therapists often get patients back on track to feeling their best before an injury or illness has a chance to take hold. Many people don’t realize that preventive occupational therapy is available and can be extremely helpful.

Try Occupational Therapy with Coastal Rehab

So, what do occupational therapists do? They help people of all ages greater independence and quality of life by adapting everyday tasks to meet their unique needs. Whether it’s preventing an injury from occurring in the first place or helping a patient recover from one, occupational therapists are an integral part of the healthcare team. 

Coastal Rehab practices occupational therapy with a patient-centric philosophy aimed at reducing the barriers to success. They care about their clients and genuinely strive to help them achieve health, happiness, and fulfilment, and want to see every client attain a happy and independent life.

Coastal Rehab has provided professional OT rehabilitation and assessment services to the Sunshine Coast community for more than two decades. When working with them, you are guaranteed to receive the utmost respect, understanding, and expert opinion on your case.

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