With "occupation" in its name, you might assume that occupational therapy is limited to helping people return to their jobs after an illness or injury.
You would only be partially right.
Occupational therapy can help arthritis sufferers manage their pain and learn how to use tools to perform daily tasks.
It can help people modify their homes to make them safer and easier to navigate.
It can help stroke victims learn to drive again or find transportation alternatives.
It even can help children do their homework better.
What is Occupational Therapy?
At Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, rehabilitation services are a team effort, bringing together occupational and physical therapists and, if needed, specialists for hand therapy, speech therapy or manual lymphatic drainage.
The occupational therapy portion of the treatment teaches patients how to apply what they learn in physical therapy to their daily lives. A physical therapist may focus on strength, movement, balance and other skills. An occupational therapist, meanwhile, will build on those gains to help the patient become more self-sufficient. Both physical and occupational therapists may bring in certified hand therapists for patients with hand/wrist condition which require expertise in fine motor skills.
Occupational therapy at Aventura is available to patients recovering from strokes and or elbow/shoulder injuries as well as specific conditions, including tendonitis, lymphedema, Parkinson's disease and arthritis.
How Does It Work?
The exact course of therapy will depend on the client's specific needs. Someone who has had memory loss from a stroke, for example, will require different techniques than someone coping with arthritis. But there are similarities in the approach.
Practitioners take a holistic look at their clients, analyzing both the tasks they need to accomplish and the environment in which they perform them, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association. Typical occupational therapy services might include:
- An evaluation to determine the person's goals
- Intervention to improve the patient's ability to perform daily activities and overcome what may be standing in their way
- Assessment of the home, workplace or school
- Recommendations for and training on adaptive equipment
April is Occupational Therapy Month. To be treated at Aventura's outpatient rehabilitation center, you'll need a prescription from your physician. An intake coordinator will verify your insurance and schedule an appointment. For more information, call (305) 937-5802 or visit us online.