Regain Your Independence with Occupational Therapy

April 25, 2023

Many patients recovering from surgery or an injury may have trouble returning to their usual routines. Tasks that were once performed regularly may now take some extra effort, no matter how basic or rigorous they may be. On the other end, children struggling to meet developmental milestones may find the same tasks challenging and frustrating.

Occupational therapy can help patients of all ages regain their ability or learn new skills to function. April is Occupational Therapy Month. Learn how this specialized service can impact you.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a goal-oriented treatment that enables patients of all ages to participate in daily activities, or “occupations.” Sessions promote health, well-being, and participation through the incorporation of occupations to fine-tune motor skills and regain — or in the case of pediatric patients, learn — the ability to perform common tasks. These include activities many of us take for granted, such as taking care of yourself and your family, working, volunteering, going to school or classes, getting dressed, cooking, and eating.

Who needs Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy may be recommended for patients of all ages for various reasons. It can help older adults adapt to changes in their mobility, help someone return to their normal after an injury, and can help young children reach developmental milestones or overcome sensory issues. Occupational therapists specialize in numerous conditions and treatments, including:

What should I expect from Occupational Therapy?

For adults, the goal of occupational therapy is to return the patient to the life and activities they previously enjoyed. The occupational therapist will first examine the person’s medical history, living situation, and needs to develop a plan and goals specific to the patient. The therapist will also work with caregivers or family members to offer guidance and training as the patient progresses and ultimately returns home.

Pediatric patients, on the other hand, are taught how to perform new skills and reach milestones in their personal development through one-on-one play. Occupational therapists will work with parents or caregivers to modify the child’s activities and environment while teaching the child how to master skills like getting dressed or using utensils in fun yet challenging ways, stimulating the child’s brain and developing motor skills.

Occupational therapy is available at the Dr. Robert E. Cox Memorial Therapy Clinic at 206 S. Monroe St. in Rushville and the satellite clinic in the Heritage Health building at 8570 St. Lukes Drive, Suite 2000, in Beardstown. Contact your primary care provider for a referral. To schedule an appointment, call (217) 322-5286.