The month of April marks Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational Therapy, also known as OT, is the use of treatments that help to develop and maintain the daily lives of people who have a mental, physical or developmental condition. Read below for five lesser-known health facts about this type of therapy and what it does to help people.
1. Is Occupational Therapy the same as Physical Therapy?
No, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are different from each other. Occupational Therapy helps the disabled client focus on and achieve goals that appeal to him or her. It also educates the client and the client’s family on everyday tasks that need to be done like, getting dressed, taking a shower, eating, and social skills, etc. Physical Therapy helps to get a person back in motion after suffering from an injury or having surgery, while Occupational Therapy not only focuses on physical issues but emotional and mental health issues as well.
2. Where is Occupational Therapy practiced?
Occupational Therapy is practiced all over the world and in many different settings and cultures. Infants, toddlers, young children, and teens are taught how to participate in every day life events that help development and growth, social skills, education, and healthy eating habits. This can take place in school settings as well as in hospitals and home settings. Adults and elderly people also benefit from OT in home settings, at hospitals, and for long, or short term care. People who have a mental illness participate in different OT practices, too. These can range from education, medicine management, working skills, social skills, childcare, and managing money, etc.
3. Occupational Therapy is only for the disabled.
No, OT is not only used for people with disabilities but it is also used to treat mental illness patients, people who need help getting their independence back, as well as infants, young children, adults and the elderly. Anyone who needs help learning how to tie a shoe, how to manage money, job or social skills, etc, can benefit from Occupational Therapy.
4. Reaching out.
Occupational Therapy is not only for use at a facility, like a hospital or school, but it’s also used in private home settings. Some Occupational therapists will travel to other states and facilities and will work for long periods of time in one area. Some forms of OT at home are health care providers and out-patient treatments.
5. Occupational Therapy can help you get back to work.
There are some cases where OT can help you get back to work if you have suffered an injury and need help getting the skills back that you will need on the job. There are tests used to determine your level of disability, what accommodations must be made for you at work, and what kind of work tasks you can handle while at work. OT also helps to prevent injuries at work through certain programs.