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What is Occupational Therapy?

Physiotherapist with face mask stretching the patient's neck with a rubber band

Occupational Therapy is a client centred and health process concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation.

In occupational therapy, occupations refer to everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and give meaning and purpose to life.


What Does Occupational Therapy Cover

A part of therapy includes what people need to, want to, and are expected to do. This type of treatment will help if you have pain, injury, or illness, or even a disability that makes it hard for you to do your work, school work, care for yourself, complete daily household chores, or even take part in simple activities.

Occupational therapy teaches you how to adapt. It can help you perform any kind of task at school, at work or at home. There are tools, more referred to as “assistance tools,” that will help overcome such barriers.

It can help you with the daily tasks like taking part in leisure activities, eat and stand without any help from the others, perform the office tasks, perform the house hold chores.


Occupational Therapists

They are trained in occupational therapy. To practise, they need to have a license and should have passed a national level exam. Some of these therapists specialize in certain types of treatment like hand therapy, treating people with low vision, working with older people or children.

They work with people from all age groups: older members, children and even babies.


How Do They Work?

They study the way you perform any kind of activity or task. They then come up with a plan to improve the way you do it to make it easier or less painful.

Initial discussions would be conducted to assess your needs. They will then visit your home and/or the place of your work to see what you do and what needs to be changed to be more productive. Following their observations, their recommendations would come out of watching you do the daily tasks. 

They will provide you with a therapy plan and set goals designed for your daily work and needs to overcome your disability or limits. Their training would include correcting posture, working on your motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and adapting your movements.


The therapy would include:

  • Training to use the assistive devices, that will help with your daily needs.
  • Helping older adults prevent falls in their places of residence or public places.
  • Introduction to new ways to button the shirt, work on the computer, tie your shoes and a host of other activities.
  • Build the hand-eye coordination so that one can hit a tennis ball or pin point on the map.
  • Address behaviour problems in children who act out or hit others.
  • Treat adults who have had a stroke to improve balance, build on their muscle strength, recommend change of location, or adapt to their memory or speech problems.


An Occupational Therapist can really help if your arthritis or chronic pain, stroke, brain injury, joint replacement, Alzheimer’s disease, poor balance, cancer, diabetes or conditions where you feel helpless to perform certain activities and get back into the mainstream.

They also help kids with birth defects, juvenile arthritis, autism or severe injuries.


Places where occupational therapy works as a department:

  • Government Hospitals
  • Health Clinics
  • Special Schools
  • Non-government organizations
  • Private hospitals
  • Industries
  • Prisons
  • Law enforcement agencies


Occupational therapy also works in close conjunction with psychological therapy and behavioral therapy, although they are all very distinct from each other.

There are areas where they overlap and help each other, thereby extending their reach into each area.

For example, in prisons, the inmates would need help with their psychological health to be able to adjust to the occupational therapy. Some may also need help with their behavioral health before proceeding to Occupational Therapy.


What are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy?

  • Improve the range of motion safely
  • Improve the strength to perform the motions
  • Decrease pain, while building Strength
  • Get adaptive strategies and equipment
  • Improve visual skills
  • Home and office safety assessments
  • Training for the care givers


Occupational Therapy for the Seniors

One of the toughest parts of the aging process is losing the ability to do things that once were incredibly simple. When people lose the ability to complete everyday tasks, they tend to feel confused, frustrated, and sometimes even embarrassed.

This therapy helps senior citizens in more ways than one, as below.

  • Overcome the struggles of everyday life
  • Prevent falls
  • Memory rehabilitation
  • Gives a better outlook
  • Modifications at home to accommodate the changes
  • Improvement or help with vision loss
  • Life transitions
  • Assist Care Givers in their work to support senior citizens.


To learn more about Occupational Therapy products and solutions, visit our page at https://bmec.asia/rehab/


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