Updated: Dec 5, 2022
In honor of National Occupational Therapy Month, we are sharing what makes OT special!
Many of you have likely heard of Occupational Therapy (OT) or had OT at some point, but sometimes it can get confusing. What makes Occupational Therapy different from Physical Therapy? Sometimes they can look alike. What makes OT stand out is the focus on occupations. Occupations are the things we do every day to occupy our time and bring us meaning and joy (playing words with friends, going up the escalator at the mall, painting, going out for coffee with friends.....
Everyone has different values and goals. Occupational therapists focus on what matters to YOU.
Occupational therapists help people do the things they have to do, need to do, and most importantly the things they WANT to do.
"The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life" - World Federation of Occupational Therapy
OT Helps You Do The Things That You Love
Sometimes after an illness or injury, it can be a full-time job just surviving: going to doctor appointments, filling medication planners, going to therapy, and your day-to-day self-care. Your day can be so filled with what you have to do and need to do that there is little time or energy for what you want to do. Occupational therapists will perform an assessment of your abilities, the environment, and the task (occupation). We work with you to make your current task more simple so you have more energy and time to start working on the fun stuff.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are"- Theordore Roosevelt/Squire Bill Widener
OT Makes Healthy Aging Possible
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that healthy aging is not the absence of disease, but the ability to participate in the things you value. The CDC reports that staying involved in the community and activities that you enjoy results in increased mental and physical health. Occupational therapists help you find ways to participate in the activities that you value which keeps you healthier and happier!
"Staying engaged in enjoyable activities is associated with better physical and mental health"- CDC.gov
The ability to engage in meaningful activities/occupations is so important to health and wellness that it has been determined a human right by the WHO and the World Federation of Occupational Therapy. In a world of health care providers that are trained and educated on health conditions, occupational therapists are educated and trained to find solutions to everyday problems that allow you to do things that bring you joy. We are trained to use the activities that bring you enjoyment in our treatments. The core belief of OT is that all people despite ability level, illness, age, or income have the right to participate in activities that are meaningful and valuable.
In a Nutshell
Staying engaged in activities that you value or bring you joy improves physical and mental health. Occupational therapists are professionals that work with people to find ways to do those things that bring you joy and keep you healthy. You might benefit from an OT assessment if:
Arthritis and pain in your hands make it hard to do what you enjoy (knitting, cooking, or working in the garage).
You get short of breath or so winded doing your daily routine that you don't have the energy for the fun stuff
You have poor balance or weakness that makes it hard for you to function
You feel anxious using a cane or walker in the community
Trouble with your vision keeps you from your old hobbies
The daily grind of life can't be ignored, but also the health benefit of engaging in fun activities that bring enjoyment can't be denied. I hope this inspires everyone to take a look at how you spend your days and try to add in some fun where you can. It's a matter of your health!
Check out our Facebook page this month as we highlight OT in action with client stories.
Thank you for being here,
IOTS is committed to helping older adults improve health, wellness, and quality of life by participating in valued activities that bring joy. Treatment sessions are designed with you for you, to help you do the things you want and need to do.
Most OT services are covered by Medicare or insurance. We understand that insurance coverage can be limited. We have created private pay packages that can be fully customizable to your needs without the limitations of insurance or after your insurance benefit has been exhausted. See below for package pricing options.