Occupational therapy is a field that has so many benefits for people of all ages. However, the field itself is sometimes misunderstood. Due to the name, some individuals automatically assume that occupational therapy has to do with jobs and careers. While the practices of occupational therapy can help an individual to develop and sharpen skills suitable for the workplace, the full scope of this field is much larger.
In fact, occupational therapy seeks to help individuals address the ordinary tasks that are encountered on a daily basis. Consider people who have difficulty with flexibility and mobility in their hands. Buttoning a shirt or cooking a simple meal could prove to be difficult tasks for these individuals. Occupational therapy can help individuals to build and regain these skills.
Another important point to consider is that occupational therapy has a number of audiences. All ages, including children and the elderly, can benefit from these practices, as can individuals recovering from injury.
Occupational Therapy for Children
Children may need occupational therapy for a variety of reasons. They may have specific or general developmental delays that prevent them from achieving certain milestones at the same age as their peers. Youngsters coping with certain anxiety disorders may also benefit from occupational therapy. Some children may begin receiving occupational therapy as part of an early intervention program. In other cases, families may discover that a need for occupational therapy arises as the kids grow older.
When it comes to children, occupational therapy can help with tasks related to home, school and play. Therapists can help kids with developmental delays learn how to approach tasks, such as dressing themselves or brushing their own teeth. Therapy sessions can also help kids navigate how to hold pencils, markers or other such tools that they need to achieve success at school. Occupational therapists could also help kids to navigate the challenges of using playground equipment, rolling a ball to a peer or handling toys in an appropriate fashion.
Occupational Therapy for Seniors
As people age, they may lose the ability to handle some tasks. It is also possible that certain tasks can pose a threat to older individuals. For example, falls in the shower are a serious problem, especially for the elderly. Occupational therapy can assist elderly individuals with learning how to bathe in a safer fashion.
Certain conditions can cause elderly individuals to have a difficult time with daily tasks that they once found easy. They might struggle to chop and dice vegetables or to style their hair with the same precision that they employed only decades earlier. Occupational therapists can help seniors to rebuild their strength in these critical areas. Think about how important these skills are for seniors to have. When people age and lose the ability to accomplish certain tasks, they might feel defeated or a lack of confidence in themselves. Occupational therapy sessions can help people to feel powerful once again both in their physical activities and in their minds. Therefore, occupational therapy is beneficial for the whole being.
Occupational Therapy for Injury Recovery
After a serious injury, individuals are also sometimes in need of occupational therapy. A motor vehicle accident could leave injured parties unable to take care of themselves. Serious illness can also lead to such situations. Occupational therapy helps these people to learn how to perform skills, such as cooking and bathing. However, working with an occupational therapist can help injured patients to get their lives back in other ways too.
A serious injury could mean that people are not currently able to go to their jobs or participate in hobbies or activities that they once loved. Patients may have difficulty attending events with their relatives and friends due to certain limitations. Occupational therapy can help patients to get back to the activities and places that they loved. Patients who work with an occupational therapist can lead a full life again.
Clearly, occupational therapy is a broad field that has the power to help so many individuals. Both the old and the young can benefit from occupational therapy, as can people of any age who are injured. Occupational therapists work with their patients to come up with plans that are best suited for individual needs.