Occupational Therapy (5 Things Family Should Know)

What Is Occupational Therapy? 

According to the University of Witwatersrand – Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession that aims to improve a person’s ability to participate in the activities of everyday life. If needed, occupational therapists will also help to modify a person’s environment to make the activities of daily living easier to perform. For example, installing a handrail in the shower.

What Are Some Examples of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists focus on a range of different skills. Some of these include:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Visual-perceptual skills
  • Cognitive & problem solving skills
  • Sensory-processing skills

For example, an OT programme might include handwriting tasks to improve fine motor skills. Improving fine motor skills with handwriting tasks can transfer over to other activities of daily living such as closing buttons on a shirt.

Elderly gentleman improves his fine motor skills with the benefits of occupational therapy.
Elderly gentleman improves his fine motor skills with the benefits of occupational therapy.

What Is the Difference Between OT & Physio?

Occupational therapy focuses on helping people perform many activities of daily living. Whereas, physiotherapy focuses on improving a person’s ability to move their body. For example, physio may focus on improving a patient’s mobility following a hip operation whereas OT may focus on improving hand-eye coordination to clothe oneself unassisted.

OT For Dementia

Enhancing function, promoting relationships, social participation, and finding ways for those with dementia to enjoy life are of paramount importance. Some primary goals include maintenance of healthy habits/behaviours. For example, OTs can help people with dementia to perform daily chores like cleaning and dressing to prolong independence. Of course, every case of dementia is different and OTs will prescribe and administer therapy as needed.

Faircape Health OT Excellence

Faircape Health offers some of the best OT programmes in the Western Cape. Our experienced and compassionate team of therapists help people to perform the activities of daily living using innovative techniques. Some of the techniques offered are multi sensory stimulation, pet therapy, music therapy, and reminiscence therapy.

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