The Important Therapy You've Never Heard About
We’ve all heard of physical therapy and speech therapy, but one of the most useful — and overlooked — therapies is being celebrated this month: occupational therapy.
Occupational therapy helps people develop, recover or maintain the skills they need to navigate daily life. At Gwinnett Medical Center we know that each patient’s situation and goals are different, so occupational therapy is tailored to those goals.
So here’s a quick primer on occupational therapy. And thanks to all the occupational therapists whose work is so important to helping people lead full lives.
Occupational Therapy: What to Expect
At Glancy Rehabilitation Center, initial occupational therapy sessions take place in-house, with settings like “shopping” at the mini grocery store, or navigating the different types of terrain on the outdoor patio.
Individuals faced with physical, mental, emotional or developmental challenges that affect their ability to complete everyday tasks.
How It Helps
Patients work around their challenges to regain their independence and become a productive member of their homes and communities. Occupational therapy is usually concurrent with and complementary to physical therapy. It’s about helping the patient return home and reenter society as smoothly as possible with their new limitations and challenges.
Occupational therapists may help patients make changes to their home to make getting around easier, or teach them how to use adaptive equipment, such as wheelchairs or modified tools and utensils. They can also offer guidance to family members on how and when to help. The focus is on helping patients adjust to their “new normal,” so to speak—finding new ways to achieve normal tasks.
As needed, patients are also involved in community outings, along with family members, so they can practice the very real skills needed to get through non-automatic doors, visit doctors’ offices and participate in other everyday events. The goal is to get both the patient and their family members comfortable living independently, capably doing day-to-day activities on their own after the therapy has ended.
To learn more about rehabilitation services at Gwinnett Medical Center, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/rehabilitation.