What Are the Different Types of Occupational Therapy Activities?
When coping with physical, psychological and developmental disabilities or recovering from an injury or surgery, you may need the help of occupational therapy, also referred to as OT. This type of rehabilitation is designed to assist you with managing your daily functioning and work-related tasks as well as improve your independence and quality of life.
With the many types of occupational therapies that are available, you may find a therapist who specializes in one or more areas. Some forms of rehabilitation cater for specific groups of people while others are intended for people found in particular settings. The different types of OT offered may include:
- Children or pediatric rehabilitation
- Adult rehabilitation
- Driver retraining
- Hand and vision therapies
- Assisted living care
- Ergonomic care
In order to help you increase confidence, independence and lead a productive life in the workplace and in your daily activities, the occupational therapist may provide or recommend some tasks for you to perform. The goal of the activities is to teach you how to do basic tasks to help you recover and cope with mobility and sensory challenges as well as visual acuity. Occupational therapy activities are wide and varied since different age groups and types of disabilities are addressed. Some exercises taught and demonstrated may include:
- using adaptive devices such as eating and dressing aids, walkers, wheelchairs, orthotics and computer-aided adaptive equipment for persons with permanent disabilities,
- making lists and repeating and recalling items to help patients who suffer from short-term memory loss,
- performing coordination tasks such as hand-eye coordination,
- using computer programs to improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, perception, memory and sequencing,
- doing physical exercise to improve motor skills and increase dexterity and strength,
- using games and toys to help children develop language concepts, body awareness, visual perception and organize sensation by performing play and active exploration,
- providing remedial driving training for the elderly,
- performing painting, art and craft activities to improve motor skills in the hand, fingers and shoulders.
Many important physical, social, psychological and health benefits may be gained from occupational therapy activities, including:
- improved mood and self-esteem,
- specialized and tailor-made treatment for each person,
- increased and improved mobility and range of motion especially for the injured and disabled,
- reduced discomfort, pain and muscle spasms,
- enhanced functioning at work and in everyday activities and overall wellbeing,
- steady and normal recuperation and healing of the body,
- the use of other treatment and rehabilitative techniques to help people recover from injuries and regain independence.
If you are suffering from mental, emotional, developmental and physical disabilities, learning and performing the right kinds of occupational therapy exercises and activities may open the door to your experiencing a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle.