May 16, 2019

Live Fully: How Occupational Therapy Helps Children and Adults

occupational therapist - mission health angel medical centerOccupational therapy is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science that supports the well-being of the whole person and their lifestyle. Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to the fullest by helping promote health and prevent (or live better with) injury, illness or disability.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recover from an injury to regain skills and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Phases of 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 their goals
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan

Types of occupational therapy treatments and services

Occupational therapist practitioners have a holistic perspective in their approach to care – we want to know what matters to you. This means we focus on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, making the person an integral part of the therapy team. Occupational therapists treat individuals of all ages, so the treatment and services depend on the need. We look at clients/patients who are struggling with a specific task or daily skill that they have either lost due to an injury or condition, such as a stroke or car accident; or someone who may have never developed a certain skill, such as a child with autism or Down syndrome.

How occupational therapy can help both children and adults

Occupational therapy is beneficial for both adults and children. You want to find a therapist who specializes in the care you need – such as a pediatric occupational therapist, certified hand therapist or a general occupational therapist.

How to prepare for occupational therapy

The goal of occupational therapists is to promote independence for the individual or families struggling with these needs and to help find the right assistance or resources going forward – we want to know what matters to you.

If you seek occupational therapy, in advance you should have your medical history, know your medications, know your environment (i.e., home, work or school), provide documents for services you’ve received in the past and know your specific goals and hopes. You should also think about what you would like to be able to do again or do for the first time.

Chelsea Lynch is an occupational therapist practicing at the Angel Medical Center Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy practice.  For more information or for questions, call 828-369-4171.  

Learn more about occupational therapy services and care with Mission Health. Learn more about pediatric rehabilitation with Mission Health.