Occupational therapy aims to help individuals of all ages who have pain, a disability, an injury, or an illness that is interfering with their normal daily activities. An occupational therapist can show a patient how to live as comfortably and independently as possible.
This type of therapist can help you learn (or re-learn) how to accomplish tasks that are associated with work, school, personal care, or household chores. Let’s take a look at what an occupational therapist does and how this healthcare professional may be just the person to help you or your loved one get back to living a normal life again.
ROLE OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
An injury, disease, medical condition, or traumatic event can dramatically change the way a person’s body functions, and it may deter their ability to cope within their environment. As a result, there may also be a sudden need for help from others for basic daily needs, such as using the bathroom, bathing, dressing, and eating.
Occupational therapists understand the value of independence. They can help individuals recover or develop the skills needed for daily living. They carefully evaluate an individual’s current condition and work/life requirements in order to create a personalized care plan, and to identify where adjustments may need to be made. If there is a need for help from others, occupational therapists can ensure that the patient learns how to be in charge of directing their own care.
One of the main roles of an occupational therapist is to teach the client how to perform their normal day-to-day tasks and activities with fewer limitations or pain. Occupational therapists can also help improve motor function. Therapists can suggest or provide a variety of assistive devices to enable the client to carry out specific tasks more easily or independently, such as when cooking, bathing, or carrying out work duties.
HOW DOES INPATIENT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY WORK?
Occupational therapy can take place in a number of settings. If a person is in the hospital or in a therapy center and is recovering from an injury or illness, the person may receive occupational therapy services before leaving to go home.
This may be a necessary treatment for a medical condition such as:
- Hip fracture
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Neurological disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Occupational therapy is also recommended in the rehabilitation process for patients who have undergone a surgical procedure such as a hip or knee replacement, to help them manage safely when they return home. Therapists can show patients how to perform a number of normal activities such as dressing and bathing, and they can also recommend equipment to make life easier at homes – such as a raised toilet seat or a shower chair, which can help to prevent falls and further injury.
HOW IS OUTPATIENT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DIFFERENT?
The goal of outpatient occupational therapy is to restore function and mobility to patients as quickly, safely, and conveniently as possible once they are back home. Successfully regaining lost skills provides greater independence and improved quality of life for patients and their loved ones.
Outpatient occupational therapy services can include:
- Hand therapy for the treatment of hand and upper extremity injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, stroke, tennis elbow, or an accident injury.
- Lymphedema treatment for patients who are experiencing increased swelling in their extremities as the result of cancer treatment or a medical condition. Occupational therapy provides the necessary skills to help patients control and manage the condition.
- Splint fabrication, which can be vital to the success of rehabilitation after an injury or surgery. Therapists are skilled in constructing specialized splints to immobilize the area and to correct/prevent deformity in order to ensure proper healing and function.
PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES IN WOOSTER, OHIO
Here at Wooster Community Hospital, we provide all types of medical care to our patients, and we offer a variety of inpatient and outpatient physical and occupational therapy services to ensure you get back to your normal lifestyle as quickly and fully as possible.
If you would like to find out more about our occupational therapy services or about any of our other medical services, call us today at (330) 202-3300. We look forward to being your healthcare partner for a lifetime of health and wellness!