Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals with mental health problems, disabilities, injuries, or impairments. Occupational therapy services are provided for rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, impairment, disability, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy practitioners enable people to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health or live better with injury, illness, or disability. The main goal of occupational therapy is to help people gain independence in daily living skills and become productive members of society. Occupational therapy services are delivered in various settings such as schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, and mental health clinics.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the client, family, and occupational therapist determine the individual’s goals, personalized intervention to improve the individual’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the aims, and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met.
Finally, occupational therapy helps with two different types of activities. These include activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Activities of daily living can include personal hygiene, eating, dressing, showering, functional mobility and many more. Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, parenting, community mobility, financial management and many more.