Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Benefits of occupational therapy

Anyone, of any age, can benefit from occupational therapy if they are unable to, or find it difficult to participate in a desired activity. Occupational therapists have training and knowledge in physical and psychosocial development and disorders and therefore look at the whole person, not just the physical aspects of the person’s problem. They also look at these problems or risks in terms of how they affect someone’s function. By seeing an occupational therapist, people develop the skills for the job of living so they are able to participate more fully in the life they choose, or to prevent a disruption in their day-to-day living. Occupational therapy benefits the individual and those around them such as teachers, employers, parents, spouses and other family members.

Some examples

Occupational therapy can help overcome and/or develop strategies to cope with:

  • Mobility and seating problems due to developmental disorders, arthritis, a spinal cord injury or simply the aging process.
  • Managing pain due to an automobile accident, burns, incorrect lifting, arthritis, repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia.
  • Fatigue due to a heart condition, multiple sclerosis, depression, stress, strokes, etc.
    Returning to work after an injury or prolonged illness.
  • Relearning and finding new ways to manage home-making activities after a brain injury or acute mental illness.
  • Discovering memory aids and other tricks for people who complain of poor memory due to aging, Alzheimer’s, stress, etc.

Occupational therapy can help prevent:

  • Unnecessary hospital stays or premature nursing home admissions.
  • Work injuries due to poor work station positioning, unrealistic pacing and other organizational and psychosocial strains.
  • School dropouts due to poor attention spans, or reading and writing difficulties.
  • Unemployment among people with a developmental disability or people with a mental illness.

 

 

 

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