What Do Occupational Therapists Do?

Occupational therapists (OTs) treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help patients develop, recover, and improve skills needed for daily living and working. OTs can treat patients of all ages from young children to the elderly.  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 support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes to help them stay as independent as possible. Treating the elderly, an OT can assess a patient’s abilities and environment and make appropriate recommendations. For example, a therapist may identify potential fall hazards in a home and recommend their removal, or easier ways for a patient to prepare meals or shower.

Occupational therapy services can include comprehensive evaluations of homes and other environments (e.g., workplaces, schools), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, focusing on adapting the environment to fit the person, with the person being an integral part of the therapy team.  Occupational therapists at RVNAhealth who provide treatment in the home work as part of a healthcare team along with doctors, registered nurses, and other types of therapists. They may treat people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, or help rehabilitate a patient recovering from hip replacement or shoulder surgery.  Once patients are no longer homebound, RVNAhealth occupational therapists can provide outpatient care in our Rehab by RVNA facility at 27 Governor Street.  For more information about occupational therapy services, call 203 438-5555.

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