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How Occupational Therapists Assist in Recovery

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

In recent blog posts we have focused on physical and speech therapists and how they assist our patients at Indianapolis Rehab Hospital. This week we get to dive into the lives and jobs of our occupational therapists.

Occupational therapists focus on enabling people to do things they want and need to do in their everyday lives. Seems pretty important, right? We will explain what occupational therapy is, what occupational therapists do, and how our rehab hospital can assist in your recovery.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on the daily activities of the patients they serve. These might include things like going to work, school, hobbies, social situations, or daily tasks around the house. After a debilitating injury or diseases it is often difficult to do the simple tasks we are used to.

A doctor might refer someone to an occupational therapist if they have acquired a disability, are recovering from a medical event, such as a stroke, or have had an operation. These therapists work to help people develop, restore, recover and improve the skills they may have lost due to their condition.

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapist (OTs) offer practical advice and support to help people carry out their daily activities. Their work revolves around adapting a person’s environment so that it better suits them and the things they need and want to do. OTs work with patients from a wide range of ages. Some examples of what OTs provide include:

• Helping people going through physical changes to carry on working

• Helping people experiencing changes in how they think or remember things to carry on working

• Helping people with disabilities take part in social situations, hobbies, or physical activity

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, therapists will:

• Work with a person and their family to identify goals

• Design custom intervention, or plan, that will help the person perform their everyday activities and reach goals

• Check to see whether the person is meeting their goals and make any necessary changes to the plan

Most occupational therapists will have a masters degrees so you know you will be in the right care when meeting with your OT.

What to expect during treatment with an OT

During an OT therapy appointment the therapist will evaluate the person’s abilities and goals. How they do this will vary much depend on the condition of the patient. However, the therapist will usually start by reviewing the medical history of the patient and their day to day lives. They may ask questions to determine what tasks are deemed important in the patients life.

The OT will offer solutions to patients to make transitioning home easier. Once the goals of the patient are established it’s time to get to work. Education, exercises, and going over how to care for oneself with a new injury or disease will now be the main focus of the OT.

Making sure the patient is comfortable and can successfully navigate their private ADL suite at Indianapolis Rehab Hospital will also be a main focus. Since our state-of-the-art hospital offers the amenities you have at home (kitchen, laundry, private bath) our OT’s can assess new ways to improve the quality of life of patients in their care.

Often OTs will work closely with other therapists like physical therapists to go over how the patients movement is progressing. Physical therapists will communicate to OTs the progress of the patients movement and what next steps can and should be taken in their occupational rehab.

Occupational therapy is an important course of treatment in the lives of patients at rehabilitation hospitals. Being able to accurately diagnose and treat patients while sending them home safely is the ultimate goal of any rehabilitation hospital. Let’s go over one more time how occupational therapy can benefit patients that have been admitted to Indianapolis Rehab Hospital.

• Occupational therapy helps gives patients with a debilitating disease or injury their independence by improving daily skills needed to take care of oneself.

• Occupational therapy improves strength and endurance for functional tasks. This helps keeps patients at a lower risk of readmission.

• Improves functional cognition and visual deficits

• Occupational therapists are also experts in adaptive equipment and home modifications

By now we hope you understand the in’s and out’s of occupational therapy, and how it plays an important role in the recovery process at Indianapolis Rehab Hospital. All of our therapists and specialists play an important role in the rehabilitation of patients. Getting patients safely back to the lives and tasks they once loved is the ultimate goal in their recovery process. If you or a loved one has experienced difficulties completing daily tasks due to a debilitating injury, contact us today to learn more about our programs that can assist in recovery.

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