Occupational Therapy (OT) as a profession began in Clifton Springs, NY in March 1917, and has its foundation in helping patients recovering from injury or illness through participation in purposeful activities or human occupation. OT gained exposure as a profession working with wounded soldiers returning from WWI and engaging them in therapeutic work and leisure activities.
Occupational Therapy at Ochsner
Today occupational therapists work with patients in order to maximize functional independence. Occupational therapy focuses on use of meaningful and purposeful everyday activities to restore function across the lifespan of people with a physical, mental or developmental condition.
The goal of rehabilitation is to return patients to their maximal levels of function and independence so they may return to life at home, work and in the community.
Occupational Therapy Services will work with obtaining goals related to:
- Self-care skills such as dressing, feeding, personal hygiene, cooking and homecare
- Use of hands with purposeful manipulation of objects
- Eye/Hand coordination
- Return to work or leisure activities
- Adaptation of the environment for safety and least restriction for independence
- Visual perceptual skills remediation
- Feeding issues, sensory motor processing defecits, and developmental delays in children
Some examples of OT at work are: working with babies in NICU on feeding and positioning; helping children with neurological injuries progress toward developmental milestones; helping stroke survivors relearn how to perform basic self-care tasks to help maintain independence; fabricating custom splints for patients recovering from hand injuries; making recommendations and training patients in the use of adaptive equipment in order to help them age safely and independently at home; training individuals on driving in an adapted vehicle.
If you or a loved one is having difficulty performing tasks that you once found easy, have not returned to your maximum potential following a recent illness/injury, or if your child has not been achieving their developmental milestones, then OT might be beneficial.