Some hear the title “occupational therapist” and think it has something to do with job training. Actually, an occupational therapist (OT) is a trained healthcare professional. His or her focus is enabling people to live a “full” life by engaging in the activities that each person wants and needs to do – no matter what injury, illness, condition, disability, lifestyle, or environment stands in the way.
Nearly one-third of OTs work with older adults, helping them regain or maintain a level of independence that will allow them to live healthy and productive lives.
The primary difference between an OT and a physical therapist (PT) is that an OT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as feeding, bathing, homemaking and leisure time. A PT focuses on improving a client’s ability to move.
They frequently work together. For example, a client recovering from hip surgery will work with a PT to improve strength and range of motion. The OT will show the client how to use a walker, get in and out of bed safely, dress and bathe.
Many conditions can benefit from occupational therapy services including:
As we age, we go through numerous transition phases in life, such as retirement, relocation, and widowhood. The OT can provide opportunities for clients to recognize the commonalities in their experiences and to gain problem-solving abilities to handle these transitions.
Falls are the number-one cause of emergency room visits among those ages 65 and older. People often fall because of bone fragility, slower reflexes, loss of footing, and many other factors. These falls are dangerous. An OT can inform and instruct clients on staying active, conserving energy, and on techniques and home modifications to prevent falls.
This April, we’re joining the American Occupational Therapy Association in recognizing the importance of occupational therapy.
At Lutheran Life Villages, we provide this vital therapy to people of all ages as part of our regionally recognized, multi-discipline rehabilitation program at three of our campuses: The Village at Pine Valley, The Village at Kendallville, and The Village at Anthony Boulevard.