April is Occupational Therapy Month, a time for practitioners, students and researchers to celebrate and showcase the importance of the profession.
Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to live more productive lives with an injury, illness or disability. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants focus on activities that are meaningful to patients, and they work to remove barriers that may prevent them from fully participating in life, whether it be modifying their surroundings, increasing physical access or teaching them new skills.
OT is deeply rooted in science and is evidence-based — meaning that practice is supported by data, experience and best practices that have been developed and proven over time.
Therapists work with a multitude of client populations from newborns to the elderly. A child, for example, might have occupations such as a student, a playmate and a dancer. Occupations also include Activities of Daily Living (ADL's), which include dressing, bathing, eating, doing the laundry, cleaning the house and grocery shopping.
Imagine if you had an accident or a stroke that prevented you from using one of your arms. Your ability to get out of bed, bathe yourself, get dressed and feed yourself would be affected. An occupational therapist would be able to show you different ways to perform these tasks as well as how to use adaptive equipment in order to maintain your independence.
Imagine a loved one had a mental illness. It may interfere with their participation in daily activities and limit their social interaction. An occupational therapist can teach skills that could help them to engage and achieve success within their environment.
For more information please contact UTMB Rehabilitation Services. Please also visit www.aota.org for more information.