Occupational therapy may sound like physical therapy for working people, but it includes a different range of treatment. Physical therapists deal with physical range of motion, pain and pain management, strength, and endurance, among other things. Occupational therapists focus on cognitive skills, fine motor skills, and improving the daily function of people of all ages, including children.
Occupational therapists help those who need assistance with everyday activities. This can range from helping a child with developmental disabilities with daily functions to helping those recovering from injuries that need to relearn daily living or work skills. Occupational therapist also assists elderly patients who are undergoing physical and cognitive changes. They also interact with a variety of patients in different environments. Treatment also requires working closely with other professionals such as physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, and nurses.
Individuals that need help with daily activities may need assistance with: bathing, dressing, feeding, general hygiene and grooming, as well as functional mobility. In addition to these activities, those working with an occupational therapist may need help with sleep, taking care of themselves and others, education and work activities, or possibly leisure activities as well.
Treatment provided can help improve physical, cognitive, and motor skills as well as improve sensory abilities. Occupational therapy can help kids improve skills needed for their age group, like school performance and social skills. This assistance can help enhance a child’s self-esteem as well as meet their developmental needs, improve their physical and mental well-being, and address the psychological needs of the child.
When working with the elderly, occupational therapists help these adults to maintain independence and continue to participate in daily meaningful activities. These therapists also assist in rehabilitation and addressing new or developing disabilities.