Occupational therapy is a profession that enables people of all ages to participate in daily living. Occupational therapists and assistants 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. Often, occupational therapy is associated with the term “activities of daily living.” This can mean anything from personal hygiene to driving.
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, addressing fall risk, completing home safety assessments, 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 and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice rooted in science.