by Laura Bliss, OT-s
There are many common responses when asked “What is Occupational Therapy? Or “What does an Occupational Therapist do?” Most people believe that occupational therapy or a therapist will help them find a job. That is not the case. Occupation is usually always thought of as “work” which can definitely be misleading. Work is a small part of occupational therapy, but it is not the whole concept. Occupations are described as meaningful everyday activities that we do to maintain a healthy living. The areas of occupation are broken down into 8 areas. These areas include Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s), Sleep, Work, Education, Social, Play and Leisure. Who would have thought “play” could be an occupation? But because occupation has a much broader definition, play is definitely a healthy occupation that we as people feel better when we participate.
Occupational Therapy focuses on a person as a whole person, which means mind, body and spirit. Occupational Therapists can work in mental health, skilled rehabilitation, schools and out-patient or home rehabilitation. An Occupational Therapist can address problems such as physical impairments, mental or developmental delay. They can also provide a service as a consultant and address workplace modifications to avoid occupational injury. There are so many different ways an Occupational Therapist can help you!! It is a profession that has now been around for 101 years!!
Here at Ortho RI, we have an Occupational Therapy Department that handles all of our upper extremity and hand rehabilitation. If you feel you could benefit from Occupational Therapy treatment in our facility, please consult your health care provider for a referral!