What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a form of rehabilitative care that centres around helping patients rebuild lost or weakened physical functions and assisting them with new methods that allow patients with disabilities to perform meaningful day-to-day tasks.
This assistance also comes in the form of adaptive equipment and orthotics, as well as ensuring the patient has a disabled-friendly home environment.
Occupational therapy employs various methods to help patients better manage limitations that arise from physical and mental conditions and empower them to live fulfilling lives for the foreseeable future.
The ultimate goal is to help patients develop the necessary skills required to live independently, these include self-care, enrolling in education, participating in leisurely and work-related activities, and commuting.
Who needs occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy care accommodates all aspects of a patient. This includes any physical, mental, and socio-economic support patients need to have a smooth recovery process and the subsequent transition into everyday life.
For this reason, occupational therapists tend to be well-versed in many physical and mental conditions. Specialists are expected to adapt their medical treatment to suit a patient’s needs based on the nature of their condition, age, and individual preferences.
If a patient is identified with one of the following health complications, a medical professional may recommend an occupational therapist to them:
- Cardiac disease
- Head injuries
- Neurological injuries
- Orthopaedic injuries
- Spinal cord disease
How does occupational therapy help?
Generally speaking, an occupational therapist will formulate a treatment plan that facilitates recovery of the patient’s functional and cognitive ability which includes:
- Assessing current functional and cognitive skills
- Re-training for various daily activities that require both functional and cognitive skills
- Guiding proper use of assistive tools, such as wheelchairs and motorised scooters
- A Home Visit Assessment that evaluates relevant home facilities and suggests potential modifications
- Providing aid in bathing and grooming when appropriate.
Some examples of how an occupational therapist may achieve this include teaching patients how to dress and clean themselves, using common tools such as mobile devices, and rebuilding hand-eye coordination and motor skills through simple activities like throwing a tennis ball at a wall.
It should be noted that occupational therapy tends to vary greatly from patient to patient, depending on the nature of the condition and the age of the patient. For example, occupational therapy in kids may involve addressing behavioural abnormalities such as aggressive and violent tendencies.
On the other hand, adult patients who have experienced a stroke may be guided through an extensive rehabilitation programme that helps them improve balance, muscle strength, and speech difficulties.
Rehabcentric at Ara Damansara Medical Centre offers the following specialised treatments for adults:
- Hand therapy for conditions affecting one’s hands and upper limbs
- Splinting, which uses medical equipment to immobilise injured body parts to prevent further damage.
- Neuro-spinal rehabilitation
- Burn management through the use of pressure garments
How long does occupational therapy last?
Similarly to the types of treatment, the duration that one undergoes occupational therapy can vary greatly. Some patients can progress and adapt to their new condition rapidly, while others may require more support to reach their treatment goals.
For treatment to be as effective as possible, patients must play an active role in their recovery and work alongside their therapist to implement rehabilitative activities into their routine and track their training activities vigilantly.
Embark on a smooth recovery with REHABCENTRIC at ADMC
Proper aftercare treatment is an essential part of a holistic recovery following physical injury, surgery, and mental conditions that deserve more recognition.
With REHABCENTRIC at ADMC, our licensed and well-trained therapists have dedicated themselves to delivering quality treatment and aftercare that is most suited to every patient’s needs.
This ensures that patients undergo a stress-free transition back into their daily routines and are empowered to continue living their lives to the fullest for years to come.