A field in healthcare, OT, which is short for occupational therapy, focuses on meaningful engagements in essential activities in life. It aims to help people – no matter the age – regain independence in all areas of their lives, despite physical or mental limitations. In other words, occupational therapists use different everyday activities, therapies and exercises to help one live an active and fulfilling life and increase independent functions. In this article, we will talk about various aspects of occupational therapy with a particular focus on OT activities, and occupational therapy services. Read on!
Introduction To Occupational Therapy
Two words, ‘ occupation’ and ‘therapy’, make the term ‘occupational therapy’. A clear understanding of what they mean can help us understand it better. So, let’s look at their meanings in the branch of healthcare.
- Occupation (noun) – In occupational therapy, ‘occupation’ refers to everyday tasks and activities one performs. These occupations can be wide-ranging, such as making the bed, taking class, cooking a meal, participating in a sporting activity, getting dressed, performing a specific task at work, etc. Joining or engaging in occupations can have various benefits and outcomes, from socialising, developing a skill, earning a livelihood and taking care of oneself etc.
- Therapy – Generally speaking, the word ‘therapy‘ refers to any treatment that may help one feel better, become stronger, and live an independent and active life. In other words, it is a treatment to cure an existing mental or physical illness.
Now that we understand what these two words mean individually, it is easy to know what OT entails. Age, illness, disability etc., often make it hard to engage and perform everyday activities. Here comes the reference of occupational therapists. They work with people who want, need or are expected to perform various activities in their daily lives, but because of physical and mental illness, they cannot.
When it comes to what occupational therapists do, the answer is they do a lot of things related to patient care. Their roles may slightly differ from the type of therapy needed, the setting in which they work, the condition of a patient etc. Generally speaking, they evaluate the condition and needs of a patient, develop treatment plans that address a patient’s needs and help them meet specific goals, assess the home or work environment of a patient and recommend adaptations if needed, train patients and their caregivers on how to use special equipment, evaluate and document developments.
What Are Examples of Occupational Activities?
Various activities come under occupational therapy. The activities can differ from what type of therapy one needs. As mentioned, the opportunity for developing patient-specific activities are many, and this therapy is not only meant for children. It is for people of all ages. Please find some of them below in a dedicated section named – What are some occupational therapy activities for adults?
Some Occupational Therapy Activities For Adults
- Origami – Origami or paper folding is an art in which one folds objects out of paper to shape two or three-dimensional subjects. It is a traditional Japanese art that supports hand-eye coordination, improves mental concentration, and helps one perform everyday tasks, from opening a milk jar to reading directions.
- Yoga: We all know how powerful Yoga is for overall health. Gentle Yoga exercises can help one improve balance, muscle tone, focus, flexibility and overall stamina.
- Writing – Keeping a written record of one’s knowledge of events or personal experiences can help one improve cognitive functioning and mental health.
- Stringing beads – Stringing beads can help one improve their fine motor skills, inspire creativity and support their effort in everyday activities.
- Pet care – Taking care of pets can improve one’s focus, generate love and affection, and enhance physical and mental health. Brushing, washing and playing with pets are very helpful in living a happy and relaxed life.
- Nature walk – Walking through nature, guided or in groups, can benefit one in many ways. Nature can bring fresh vibes of enjoyment, fulfilment and purpose to life.
- Gardening – Watering plants, holding objects and doing other stuff in gardening can improve hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and balance. It allows one to enjoy the great outdoors and contributes to a healthy and active life.
What Are Occupational Therapy Tasks?
As mentioned above, an occupational therapist’s tasks vary from the patient’s condition and treatment needs. Some of the tasks that they perform include –
- Understanding the condition and needs of a patient and thereby establishing a personalised therapy plan that is expected to achieve the most effective results
- Instructing patients with needed therapy activities and tasks that will promote rehabilitation and help them live an independent life
- Maintaining medical records and documenting occupational therapy sessions and achieved progresses
- Maintaining and guiding patients and their caregivers on how to effectively use exercise equipment for therapy sessions.
What Are The Core Values Of Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy encompasses various things that work together to promote health and well-being. Some of its core values include patient-centric care, inclusion, self-management, equality, diversity, evidence-based practice, etc., to name a few. It seeks to include everyone, regardless of age and other factors. It aims to promote health and well-being using a holistic approach that appreciates customised treatment.
We hope the article has helped you gather some basic understanding of occupational therapy. Meanwhile, please continue visiting the website and its different sections to learn about occupational therapy Services, Physiotherapy services, and more.