The occupational therapists job consists of restoring a person’s independence to complete daily tasks. These tasks include both the daily essentials and the more complex instrumental activities of daily existence (ADLs).
Basic ADLs involve eating, dressing, using a bathroom, and bathing. The following are instrumental activities of daily living: driving, meal preparation, and volunteering. Mobile occupational therapy can be helpful for people who are having difficulty with instrumental or basic ADLs.
1. Safely Increase Strength & Range Of Motion
The amount of movement available in joints can be affected by surgery, arthritis, strokes, or other factors such as surgery. Occupational therapists collaborate with clients to increase their range of motion.
Active motion means that a patient can move their arm and perform other joint-related movements without the need for physical assistance.
Proper positioning of the body, such as lying down on one’s back or side, allows for independent function and a full range of movement. A lying position reduces resistance to gravity and allows for greater joint mobility. Pain can occur easily if someone pushes themselves too hard, too fast, or is in a poor position.
Compensatory prevention techniques can be used to avoid loss of strength and to allow movement while building strength. One common technique people may use to compensate for a weak shoulder joint is to shrug their shoulders upwards and bring their arm closer to the body. Although it may allow for motion, this will eventually cause pain and decrease strength.
2. Increase Your Strength And Decrease Pain
Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion, an enduring theory, and physics lesson, says that for every action, there are equal and opposite reactions. This is true of all movements in the body. A weaker muscle could cause pain, while a tighter muscle might result. To reduce pain, compensation techniques such as lifting the shoulder to keep your arm closer to your body can often cause muscle imbalance.
Occupational therapy is a great way to educate patients and make them more aware of how incorrect body positioning can cause pain. Occupational therapists offer manual guided exercises and stretching that can improve joint movement and decrease pain.
3. Get Adaptive Strategies And Equipment
Not being able to do your daily tasks without the support of an occupational therapist is a problem. An occupational therapists main job is to assist people in their daily lives. The key benefits of occupational treatment can lead to improved range and mobility for participants.
If there are extreme limitations in motion range, it may be necessary to use more aggressive adaptive strategies.
Adaptive strategy is any technique or effort that helps someone adapt to their current ability. Energy conservation refers specifically to energy conservation efforts. These efforts are made to conserve energy and combat fatigue. Particularly helpful for those with significant cardiac disease, energy conservation is important to reduce fatigue and conserve energy for the most important activities.
4. Develop Your Visual Skills
A stroke or eye disease can lead to vision problems. These changes can lead to blind spots in our visual field. Visual changes can hinder a person’s ability to read or walk confidently. Occupational therapy can teach visual adaptive skills such as scanning or pre-reading strategies, which will improve reading performance and experience.
5. Assessments Of Home Safety
Occupational therapists adore helping people with disabilities grow older in their own homes. An occupational therapist who is experienced and qualified will perform a home assessment. This provides peace of mind. These assessments evaluate safety in your home, including the amount of clutter that blocks walkways and other living spaces, adequate lighting, and whether you need adaptive equipment.
6. Training For Caregivers
It can be difficult and heartbreaking to see a loved one go through daily living tasks. It is difficult for caregivers to feel guilty or even frustrated with family members who are having difficulties with ADLs. An occupational therapists job is to educate caregivers and help them understand the unspoken and visible aspects of a condition, as well as the limitations and disabilities that result.