April is OT Month and Age Safe® America celebrates all those in the field of Occupational Therapy and how incredible they are! The 2020 theme is, Occupational Therapy: EMBRACING CHALLENGES, ENHANCING LIVES. During the month of April, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) celebrates Occupational Therapy Month and the more than 213,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students who work nationwide to create fuller lives for clients and their families. Occupational Therapy Month began in 1980. It is in April to correspond with AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo. The American Occupational Therapy Association advances occupational therapy practice, education, and research through standard setting and advocacy.
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them 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 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 person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is a nearly 100-year-old evidence-based profession deeply rooted in science. Practice areas are Children and Youth; Mental Health; Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation; Healthy Living; Aging; and Work and Industry.