Health Education Blog

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Posted by Staff on April 28, 2021

elderly woman working with occupational therapist

Occupational Therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent - or live better with - injury, illness, or disability.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy helps people across the lifespan do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).

Common Occupational Therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from an injury to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

What Do Occupational Therapy Services Include?

Occupational therapists help people of all ages facing physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems regain the skills needed for functional independent living. By using adaptive equipment and customizing treatment programs, they replace loss of function and help individuals with daily living activities. They treat injuries and conditions of all kinds, including:

  • Neurological/Neuromuscular disorders
  • Orthopedic issues
  • Lymphedema
  • Balance and Vestibular Rehab/Dizziness
  • Hand injuries
  • Low Vision
  • Pediatric therapy

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals.
  • A customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. 

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. 

What’s the difference between an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist?

An occupational therapist focuses on adapting, modifying, or changing a person’s daily activities by altering the activity, environment or person’s set of skills. They often help people regain independence after an injury or help people with developmental delays adapt to daily life. They take into account physical, emotional and environment factors.

A physical therapist is a movement expert, focusing on getting people back on their feet after an injury through exercises, education, rehabilitation, and prevention of further injury. Physical therapists work with patients of all diagnoses to maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability and eliminate pain.

Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation is provided at the Orchard Hospital Medical Specialty Center - Your Everyday Health Care Clinic - in partnership with RehabVisions. We offer physical and occupational therapy services for patients of all ages to help patients return to normal function.

Contact us today to help you get back to your daily activities through occupational therapy (530) 846-9090!

Schedule an Appointment Today!

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Topics: Services, Healthy Lifestyle, Pain Management

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