5 Conditions You May Not Know That Can be Treated by Occupational Therapy
We continue our observation of Occupational Therapy Month by bringing to your attention conditions you may not know that can be treated by Occupational Therapy. Some of the most common conditions that require OT interventions are obvious. Individuals with ailments such as Osteoporosis, Stroke, Developmental Delays and other such conditions all benefit from treatments planned by an Occupational Therapist.
Other conditions that can be treated through OT may not be the first ones that come to mind. Here are five such conditions:
- COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is probably not the first condition you would think about when discussing treatment with Occupational Therapy. However, an OT can assess how a COPD patient carries out daily living tasks and develop a plan to help accomplish them easier. After an assessment, the OT can advise the COPD sufferer on conserving energy, different methods for breathing, and home adaptations tailored to easing the challenges.
- Schizophrenia – When an individual is suffering from schizophrenia or other severe mental disorders, most people may assume that they are only under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist. In reality, studies have shown that Occupational Therapy can play a key role in helping schizophrenia patients manage their work and other social situations. OT’s help their patients throughout their daily lives and can help them integrate into their communities.
- ADHD – Children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can benefit greatly from an Occupational Therapy intervention. OT’s can work with the child on organizational skills, physical coordination, help them develop strategies for controlling energy levels, as well as help develop everyday living skills. Kids with ADHD often struggle managing personal hygiene, are challenged by performing daily chores properly, and even need assistance to develop strategies for organizing their school backpack.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) – When you think of treatments for a person suffering from RA, you might think of a Rheumatologist and also a Physician who might be helping them manage their pain. RA patients can also be treated with occupational therapy to enhance their abilities to continue working, participate in favorite activities and maximize their independence through adaptive equipment.
- Renal Failure – Kidney Failure and other Renal conditions are typically associated with treatments such as dialysis, but much can be gained when occupational therapy is part of the treatment plan. An OT provides great support to a renal patient by helping them set up their home to make them more conducive to living with that type of condition. An OT will help the patient position a home-based hemodialysis unit for safety and accessibility purposes and also provide assistance in maintaining mobility in the community when it is difficult to get around.
In addition to providing the therapies that help their patients maintain independence and mobility, retain and enhance the skills that help them live their life to the fullest, an OT will help their patient develop strategies for maintaining good physical and mental health. Helping patients get the support they need and encouraging them to follow the treatment plans that help them live with their condition are other ways that OT’s make an impact in the lives of those they treat.
What are some other conditions that may not be attributed to being treatable through occupational therapy? Do you have patients with a rare or unusual condition that are benefiting from OT interventions? Share your experiences in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.