Age Safe® America celebrates Occupational Therapy Month and the vital role played by occupational therapists in the lives of Americans of all ages. Their expertise and perspective bring important solutions to help people regain independence in their lives.
We don’t often consider just living and going about our daily routines that what we are doing is actually an occupation – the occupation of living. So the professionals who are trained to help us improve how we manage in our homes in all aspects from work or hobbies to activities of daily living such as getting dressed, cooking, eating and driving are occupational therapists.
Occupational therapists are trained to facilitate life skills for all ages. They can train workers to use the correct ergonomics, help people with low vision or other sensory challenges maintain their independence, make homes more safer and more accessible, evaluate and train older drivers and promote overall health and wellness. The assessment of the environment is baseline for recommendations and solutions. OTs work with older people in their homes or other settings such as nursing homes, to help them to recover from strokes or deal with Alzheimer’s disease. Others choose acute care or home settings to work with accident victims to regain needed skills or offer assistance to people with mental illness. They can work across the age spectrum to help children thrive in the occupation of childhood; they provide tools and skills to enhance learning, growing and play.
As an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, you are part of a vitally important profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Your holistic and customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, assist a person recovering from injuries to regain skills, aid an older adult to stay as independent as possible, and offer the specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide. Occupational Therapy Month began in 1980. It is in April to correspond with AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo.