In Honor of Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, We Help Answer the Question, “What is OT?”

April is Occupational Therapy month, and Theracare would like to thank all of our Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants for the important services they provide.  Theracare employs 66 OTRs and 108 COTAs throughout the state of Indiana.  Our therapists work in a variety of settings which include schools, our pediatric clinic, skilled rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, in the home, and even in the workplace.

So often, people are unsure about what exactly an Occupational Therapy is.  Many assume that OT only involves getting people back to work because of the word “occupational” in the title.  It is really so much more, and there is no better time than OT Month to share valuable information about the valuable services Occupational Therapy practitioners provide.   The American Occupational Therapy Association says it best: Occupational Therapy Practitioners ask, “What matters to you?” not, “What is the matter with you?”  Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

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Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes measurement to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.

Our OTs specialize in creating individual goals and treatments that the client helps design based on their need.   We have OT experts that have integrated Tai Chi into their programming, some who make custom splints, and many who provide specialized assessments to establish dementia severity levels and customized dementia programs.    Thanks to OT, environments are adapted to make a return to independent living a success. For pediatric and adolescent patients, many OTs specialize in sensory integration and modulation to help the person recognize process and organize sensory input and turn it into useful information to help with participation in daily routines and social interaction.

We salute all Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants for all they do to improve the lives of the patients they serve!