Occupational therapists are trained to discover and design meaningful occupations for people with disabilities. These occupations should help the clients to reach their fullest potential by promoting independence, improving performance, coping with stress, relieving pain and discomfort, acquiring and maintaining a sense of well-being and contributing to the overall quality of life. Occupational therapists work with clients in several ways.
They may work with clients to find occupationally relevant activities, modify or adapt occupations already performed by others, create simple aids such as writing tools, instructional materials and schedules, assist with occupationally related treatments and/or evaluations and provide consultation and other direct services as required.
In this situation, occupational therapists are very skilled at helping people with physical and mental challenges to become more independent, perform their daily tasks better and enjoy a higher quality of life. Occupational therapy in Denver offers several different treatment approaches. They may focus on increasing independence by teaching new skills or adapting existing ones. This may include learning how to use a manual or adaptive tool, developing strategies to improve memory or concentration, practicing new motor skills or using a treadmill or a computer. Sometimes, occupational therapists use a combination of several different strategies to help people with specific challenges.
Occupational therapists treat clients with any type of disability. However, certain groups of clients are considered a high priority for intervention. These groups include children with developmental delays; adults who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury; and older adults (age 60 and over) who have experienced some type of memory loss.
In many cases, occupational therapy is a multi-disciplinary approach that involves working with other healthcare professionals. Occupational therapists are trained to work in this manner by providing services to individuals with a wide variety of conditions. For example, occupational therapists may work with a child with cerebral palsy and a speech therapist to develop a specific treatment plan designed to help the child develop new skills or improve his or her existing ones.
Occupational therapists can also provide consultation and direct services to other providers who provide medical care. These services include the evaluation of a patient’s functioning and the design of appropriate interventions. The occupational therapist can work with the patient’s family members or other professionals to help the patient learn new skills or modify the patient’s existing occupations. Occupational therapists often work in a hospital setting. They are also involved in the community in helping people with disabilities live more independent lives. However, occupational therapists do not always work in hospitals or clinics.
To demonstrate their commitment to providing community-based services, many occupational therapists attend school as full-time students. They also work part-time in various capacities. For example, some occupational therapists work one day per week for a local agency that provides support services to people with developmental disabilities. Other therapists may work as an employee of private practice. Still, others may work independently on a contractual basis with clients.
Whatever the case, occupational therapists should have a strong working knowledge of basic sciences, including human anatomy and physiology; the various types of injuries and illnesses; and the processes involved in the rehabilitation of the injured and/or diseased body. When it comes to treating clients with physical challenges, occupational therapists have at their disposal a variety of tools. Occupational therapists use these types of devices to help improve a person’s balance and muscle tone. This enables the client to become more independent and to perform daily activities without assistance. Brace or support services. Braces and supports are often needed when a person has a permanent injury or disability. Supports may include special shoes, a cane, a walker or a wheelchair.
They are needed to maintain or increase a person’s independence. A typical occupational therapy session for this purpose would include teaching the person how to properly use the support device. The occupational therapist would also teach the person new strategies to compensate for the lack of proper use of his or her limbs. For example, the person may be taught how to use his or her arms and trunk to stabilize himself while walking. Cognitive training. This type of training involves teaching people with brain injuries or other cognitive impairments new skills that will enable them to have a higher quality of life.