April is National Occupational Therapy Month and the therapists at will join Occupational Therapists’ across the country in promoting the resources available to individuals managing daily tasks while dealing with health issues.
You ask What is Occupational Therapy? In its simplest terms, as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Occupational Therapists' help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).
Some common interventions done by Occupational Therapists (OT'S) include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school or social situations, helping people recover from an injury to regain skills and provide support for older adults experiencing physical or cognitive changes.
Gina Barkley, an OT employed at CMRS said, "Occupational Therapists help you thrive and reach your highest degree of independence in activities of daily living."
Occupational Therapy services may also include comprehensive evaluations of the clients home, school or work environments. OT's have a holistic approach in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person.
Now more than ever seniors want to remain in their home as long as possible but families worry about their safety. OT's can conduct a Home Evaluation to determine if the home environment is safe or if changes need to be made such as installing safety grab bars, or emergency exit ramps, and modifying lighting for individuals with low vision or as simple as picking up scatter rugs. An OT can also fit and help train an individual how to PROPERLY use a new adaptive device in their home such as a walker or a cane.
Another hot topic now is injuries, either on the job or off, preventing individuals from working. Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) can be performed by a specially trained Occupational Therapist. Performed by the request of a Physician, Employer or Attorney a FCE is an opportunity to assess when a persons return to work is safe and/or appropriate as well as pre-employment screenings. A FCE provides reliable objective information on an individuals current and future functional and vocational status to help provide a plan for all parties involved in returning the individual to work.
So the next time you have an injury and it effects your daily activities such as buttoning your shirt with one hand, or not being able to comb your hair due to a frozen shoulder think about the services of an Occupational Therapists helping you life life to the fullest!