Occupational Therapy (OT) may be one of the most misunderstood professions in the United States. OT is a medically oriented profession designed specifically to help people of all ages approach everyday tasks with both ease and function. The decision in 1920 by the National Association of Occupational Therapy (AOTA) to associate the practice with the word “occupation” has often led to confusion about the overarching value Occupational Therapists bring to healthy living and healing. While an OT is qualified to assess whether a patient has the specific skills needed to accomplish his or her work tasks, an OT assessment can also support the components of everyday life from bathing to meal preparation, increased mobility to fall prevention.
In France, Occupational Therapists are referred to as érgothérapeute. A word that aligns itself with the ergonomic qualities that are part of any OT plan-of-care, érgothérapeute is generally understood to mean the act of helping people preserve their independence and autonomy in all environments – the home, the workplace, and at play. It is about the “occupation” of living and the “occupational” tasks involved.
OT’s have a broad background in assessing clients holistically. We assess cognition and emotional as well as one’s physical status. Our practice supports spiritual and leisure activities and takes into consideration who our patients are, what they value, what they are able to do, and what they would like to do. We do not ask, “What is the matter with you?” We ask, “What matters to you?” Working directly with doctors and physician’s assistants, we help patients recover from injury, overcome the limitations of aging, and discover ways to work, play, and live with mobility, joy, and success.
In short, Occupational Therapy supports the occupation of living life to its fullest. Maximize your potential and call an OT, today!!