The second article of my three-part series, Understanding Rehabilitation Care, focuses on occupational therapy.
As we age, it’s common to lose the ability to do the things we used to do, including simple things. This often results in feeling frustrated, confused and, sometimes, embarrassed. Luckily, occupational therapy can help.
Occupational therapy helps older adults participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities including:
Occupational therapy addresses all aspects of aging, from wellness to treatment, to help keep older adults safe and independent.
Occupational therapists take a holistic approach and create customized plans that adapt the environment and tasks to fit the patient. For example, our team creates customized recovery plans that focus on an individual recovering as quickly as possible and to the best of his/her ability. Because of this approach, occupational therapists often ask, “what matters to you” instead of “what’s that matter with you?”
The customized approach includes:
Occupational therapist addresses all aspects of aging, from wellness strategies to treatment. With a focus on function, occupational therapists help keep older adults independent and safe, reducing hospitalization and institutional care.
The science-driven profession can be effective at treating gerontology issues such as:
Occupational therapists mainly work in hospitals but the may also work in outpatient clinics, private practice offices, rehab centers, nursing or assisted living communities and patient homes. Our occupational therapist work in the Rehabilitation suite of our Health Care Center.
Education and Licensure
Occupational therapists have a master’s degree in occupational therapy though some may have doctorate. They also must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam to be licensed in their state and take continuing education courses every year to keep their license current.
Some may have a board or specialty certification from the American Occupational Therapy Association, such as in pediatrics, gerontology, mental health and physical rehabilitation.
Michael Winebrenner is the director of rehabilitation at Carroll Lutheran Village. He has his doctorate in physical therapy and has worked in the field for over 20 years.