Although the word “occupation” typically refers to a job or career, the definition can broaden to everyday roles like cooking, cleaning, driving, and even parenting. We all have a variety of daily occupations that we don’t think much about until an injury, illness or other obstacle gets in the way of our doing them. When this happens, occupational therapy can help.
Unlike physical therapy, which aims to improve mobility, occupational therapy focuses on performing daily tasks. After evaluating your situation, an occupational therapist will develop a modification plan and/or individualized recovery goals that allow you to resume or pursue your valued occupations. Here are some situations that can benefit from occupational therapy:
1. Recovering from injury
Most daily tasks involve using our hands, which is why proper recovery from broken wrists, elbows, fingers, or repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome is so vital. Occupational therapy can help regain skills such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and gardening. An occupational therapist may also incorporate work adaptations and ergonomic assessments so you can perform work tasks safely as well.
2. Managing chronic medical conditions
Certain medical conditions like chronic pain and arthritis don’t necessarily have a cure, but occupational therapy can help with modifications to reduce discomfort in your joints, as well as introduce adaptive equipment to assist in daily tasks such as dressing, grooming, writing, cooking, and other hobbies.
3. Rebuilding independence after a stroke
Neurological illnesses and injuries often require extensive recovery periods in skilled nursing facilities. In many of these cases, occupational therapy is employed to improve a patient’s range of motion, strength, and use of the upper extremities in order to support the performance of daily living activities. Occupational therapy is similarly helpful for conditions including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.
4. Ensuring independence for seniors
According to the AARP, four out of five Americans age 45 or older wish to live at home for as long as they can, and occupational therapy can help achieve this goal. Many seniors face moving to a nursing facility because their families are worried about their ability to perform day-to-day activities such as cooking and grooming. Occupational therapy can help with environmental modifications (such as grab bars in tubs and showers) that allow seniors to age in place safely.
5. Helping with memory loss
While the bulk of occupational therapy is focused on physical challenges, it can assist those with mental challenges as well. Occupational therapists can help people with memory less maintain their ability to perform basic daily tasks including shopping and using public transportation. Occupational therapists are also trained to set up home modifications to help stimulate memory and ensure the safety of the patient.
Experiencing difficulty with daily tasks? We can help.
At Bella Vista Health Center, our 5-star skilled nursing facility provides patients with high-quality care in a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. Our occupational and physical therapy programs offer evidence-based, outcome-driven services that are designed to relieve pain, restore function, and enhance health.
So if you’re looking for top-notch skilled nursing services as well as occupational or physical therapy in San Diego, contact us today for more information about our programs. We look forward to helping you with your recovery, and we’ll be here every step of the way.