Occupational therapy (OT) teaches you how to adapt. It can help you perform any kind of task at school, work, or in your home. You’ll learn how to use tools (you may hear them called assisted devices) if you need them. Anyone who has difficulty performing daily tasks may benefit from occupational therapy. This can include people who have a history of or are currently experiencing:
- Stroke: Symptoms of paralysis experienced by stroke victims can vary in intensity and duration. These people may experience loss of balance, memory and speech problems, and the inability to use a part of their body due to permanent paralysis. An occupational therapist can adapt a stroke patient’s environment to assist them in navigating their home without falling and communicating despite their shortcomings.
- Poor vision: Occupational therapy assistants can assist a patient with poor vision in a variety of ways, including recommending lighting in the patient’s home to help them see their surroundings, showing how to safely navigate the patient’s home despite their poor vision, and helping the patient use other parts of their vision to compensate for the missing portion of their eye.
- Diabetes: Diabetes patients must monitor their blood glucose levels to ensure they are within a healthy range. They must also change their lifestyle to promote a healthier diet and become less sedentary. An OTA can assist diabetic patients by addressing anything they may be up against, whether physical or emotional, that prevents them from taking care of themselves and living a full life despite their diabetes.
- Joint replacement: Someone who has had joint replacement surgery may have difficulty adjusting to the changes in their body. An OTA can help them develop a full range of motion, get in and out of bed, stand for a certain amount of time, and go up and down the stairs. An occupational therapist can recommend equipment the patient may require to navigate their home better.
- Poor balance: People with chronically poor balance may benefit from the help of an occupational therapist to avoid falling. The OT may discuss the patient’s daily activities with them to develop a fall prevention plan that is appropriate for the patient’s current home environment and lifestyle. This could include finding ways to climb stairs and identifying hazards that could lead to falls.
- Chronic pain: An OTA can assist someone suffering from chronic pain by first understanding how their pain affects their daily life and how positive the patient is in their ability to control and overcome the pain. Occupational therapists can help patients suffering from chronic pain by teaching them relaxation techniques, giving them gentle yet effective exercises to increase their strength, and explaining the brain’s role in pain and how they can change their pain response.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty engaging in activities and remembering where things belong or where they can find them in their homes. An occupational therapist can assist them by labeling drawers and cabinets to make finding essential items easier and less frustrating, developing stimulating activities to keep the patient happy and busy, and providing helpful communication techniques.
- Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy impairs a patient’s muscle control, resulting in involuntary spasms and the inability to use certain body parts. An occupational therapist may assist by prescribing assistive devices such as speech devices to assist the patient in communicating or a wheelchair to allow the patient to remain mobile. They can also assist the patient in adjusting to a new way of performing daily tasks depending on which part of their body is affected by their disability.
- Brain injury: Individuals suffering from brain injuries may experience memory issues or become more prone to emotional outbursts. An OTA may assist these patients by encouraging them to keep a memory journal or by teaching them anger management techniques that will allow them to maintain positive relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
- Mental health issues: People frequently associate occupational therapy with patients experiencing physical difficulties. However, OTAs also help people who are suffering from mental illnesses. They can assist them in returning to activities they once enjoyed or find new hobbies and interests that excite them. Occupational therapists may identify how a patient’s mental illness has affected their daily life and work with them to overcome this by developing coping mechanisms or finding other ways to support their values and goals.
- Behavioral issues: An occupational therapist can help people with behavioral issues by identifying barriers and finding ways to help them connect to their emotions more effectively. For example, an OT may discover that a child’s behavioral issues are caused by sensory issues, which may lead to the development of activities that help the child approach sensory experiences in a new way.
- Severe burns: Someone suffering from severe burns must be extra cautious in their movements to avoid causing further damage that prevents their skin from healing. An occupational therapist can assist someone with severe burns by teaching them new ways to perform everyday tasks.
Occupational Therapy in Kearney, NE
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an assessment with Elite Health & Wellness Occupational Therapy Services in Kearney, NE, please contact us at (308) 455 1500.