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Occupational Therapy Is A Profession That Helps People Participate In The Activities Of Their Daily Lives

Nov 10

Occupational therapy (OT) is a profession that helps people participate in the activities of their daily lives, as well as the things they want and need to do, after a health event. This includes recovering from illness, injury or surgery and dealing with chronic disease or disability. It uses a holistic approach to look at the person and their environment to help them recover from an injury or illness.

The profession of Occupational therapy to improve daily living has a strong base in science and evidence and draws on many disciplines including physical therapy, nursing, psychology and psychiatry. It also combines elements of sociology, philosophy and law.

An OT is a healthcare professional who has graduated from an accredited program and holds a license to practice. OTs work in hospitals, rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals, private practice settings, community agencies, schools and nursing homes. They typically work 40 plus hours per week, and their schedules often include some weekend and holiday shifts.

Occupational therapists have an intensely compassionate, caring and patient nature and a desire to improve the quality of life for those in need. They are leaders and change agents in their fields, and they are highly skilled at interacting with people from all walks of life.

After an illness or injury, a person may struggle to perform basic tasks such as getting in and out of bed, bathing or cooking. OTs can help them cope with their limitations by teaching them different ways to do these activities or by providing tools and equipment like splints to protect an injured arm. They can even help their patients to modify their environment and remove hazards that could cause accidents, such as a loose rug that might trip someone over.

For those living with dementia, an OT can use their skills to help their clients stay engaged in meaningful activities that they enjoy and promote a sense of purpose and self-esteem. This can be done by assisting them with everyday chores or facilitating trips out of the house. They can also teach their clients strategies to deal with anxiety or depression.

In addition to helping their clients regain their independence, an OT can also help them manage their emotions and prevent avoidable ER visits or hospitalizations. For example, if a senior falls frequently in their home, the OT can work with them and their doctor to come up with a fall prevention plan that will reduce the risk of a serious fall.

Visual impairment is a common condition that affects the eyes and is the leading cause of blindness in the US. OTs can help their patients regain their vision by using techniques such as light therapy and eye exercises. They can also recommend assistive devices such as magnifiers or glasses. In addition, they can address the root causes of a person’s vision problems, such as environmental or social conditions. The therapists can promote occupational justice by addressing injustices in their own practice and reflecting on how laws, standardized treatments and political conditions might hinder the occupations of their clients.

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