Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Rhonda Johansson
Occupational therapy is one of the more holistic health and rehabilitation professions to date. It is based on the science that assumes that a person’s overall wellness is composed of different facets and activities. These areas – from physical to social to emotional – determine meaning and purpose in an individual. Thus, an occupational therapist works with a variety of patients to develop strategies that would improve their life. These programs vary, but there are “occupations” that each patient must perform to enhance their self-care and independence while preventing any disability. Occupational therapists train their patients to adapt to any task or environment.
This makes it radically different from physical therapy, which is more focused on improving mobility among patients who have suffered an accident or neurological disorder. It is typical for an occupational therapist to assist patients in all sorts of activities like eating, dressing, school activities, interpersonal relationships, and the like. Occupational therapists are also trained in basic mental health training – although it must be stressed that severe conditions (such as those that prompt suicidal ideations) should be handled by a trained psychiatrist and not an occupational therapist.
Because of the scope of their work, occupational therapists can be found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities and school systems.
Occupational therapy can be used by anyone of any age. The main goal of this rehabilitation program is to assist people to learn whatever skills they want or need to do in their daily life. For the most part, occupational therapy is utilized by the elderly to great effect – several studies have concluded that the therapy dramatically slows down age-related declines better than basic social activities.
As such, mental health practitioners state that occupational therapy can improve mental abilities and decrease the likelihood of brain disorders. Occupational therapy is often given as a supplemental treatment for dementia. While the therapy itself cannot always slow down the progression of the disease, patients can benefit by learning programs to eliminate their pain.
Occupational therapy is likewise ideal for fostering strong interpersonal relationships. Through learning (or maybe improving) a skill, patients develop self-confidence and are more willing to interact with their peers. There is also a sense of fulfillment a patient feels in knowing that they can perform different tasks without assistance.
Occupational therapy targets all body systems.
Occupational therapy is a healing practice that involves teaching people of any age necessary skills for a well-rounded life. These activities can be as simple as cooking to the more advanced of knowing how to socialize with other people. For the most part, seniors are encouraged to have an occupational therapist.
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