A new month is upon us! The month of April is unique because it is National Occupational Therapy Month. If you’re unsure about what exactly occupational therapy is or curious about who may benefit from this treatment, Premier Independent Physicians is here to fill you in.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a treatment that uses a holistic approach to help people fully engage in daily life activities. After evaluating a person’s condition, an occupational therapist will come up with customized interventions and recommendations, which are tailored to the patient’s current condition. Over time, the therapist will modify and enhance the program as the condition of the patient changes. From basic activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, bathing and grooming, to more advanced tasks such as preparing meals, driving, and work-related tasks, occupational therapy is ultimately designed to help patients regain independence.

Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy?

The great thing about this treatment is that it can be beneficial for people of all ages with a variety of conditions. A few of these conditions include:

  • Cognitive/Developmental Conditions
  • Brain Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Joint Replacements
  • Autism
  • Down’s Syndrome

Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy: What’s the difference?

Although patients often see both occupational and physical therapists, they each provide very different services to a patient’s recovery. For example, if a patient was recovering from surgery, a physical therapist would help the patient improve their strength and range of motion. An occupational therapist, however, would teach the patient how to navigate their daily environment when returning home from surgery. A recovering patient might find simple tasks such as getting dressed, walking and bathing to be challenging. An occupational therapist is there to help the patient carefully adapt back into their routine. Occupational and physical therapists have the same goal, to help the patients heal, but do so in different ways.

Occupational therapy is a wonderful resource for many reasons. It’s no wonder the whole month of April is dedicated to celebrating it! If you, or someone you know, is interested in seeing an occupational therapist, any of our Premier Independent Physicians healthcare providers can offer referrals, as deemed necessary.