by: Debbie Balasundram, OT – Mechanicsburg, PA
Our lives are filled with activities and tasks. When we experience an injury or have a medical condition, it sometimes becomes difficult, tedious or painful to complete basic activities of daily living: dressing, bathing, getting out of bed; going to school, work, church; visiting family and friends.
Occupational therapy, or OT, is the use of treatments to develop, recover or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental or developmental condition.
Occupational therapists can help people of all ages return to meaningful, purposeful activities of life. OT treatment focuses on:
1. Adapting the environment to help an individual stay home safely. This includes the use of ramps, porch lifts, bathrooms , special transfer lift systems.
2. Modifying the task in order to make it easier and safe to complete. Breaking it down into small steps toward the bigger task.
3. Teaching the skill, such as dressing, transfers, standing up safely. Sometimes we have to recommend special tools, such as built-up handles, adapted keyboards, walkers and grab bars.
4. Educating the patient/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the patient. Sometimes it’s as simple as using a phone, turning on the TV or giving a hug.
Do you need help with everyday tasks around your house? You just might be a candidate for occupational therapy.