A 67-year-old retired schoolteacher recovering from a stroke. A 6-year-old girl who needs help with fine motor skills. A 35-year-old farmer who is recovering from shoulder surgery. What do these three individuals have in common?
Any of them could benefit from occupational therapy.
“Our occupational therapists help people of all ages overcome challenges so they can do the things they want and need to do to lead fulfilling lives,” said Courtney Hulett, P.T., director of Lake Regional Rehabilitation Therapies.
Every April, Lake Regional Health System joins the American Occupational Therapy Association in celebrating National Occupational Therapy Month.
Occupational therapists help patients with their “occupations,” or daily activities. These activities range from getting dressed to completing work tasks. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate fully in school and social situations, helping people re-gain skills after injury or stroke, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapists provide patients with individualized evaluations, during which patients and their families help determine treatment goals. The therapists then provide customized interventions to improve the patient’s ability to perform daily activities. Routine progress updates ensure the patients’ goals are being met.
“In occupational therapy, individuals develop needed skills, adjust to their environments — or learn how to adjust their environments to them — and build health-promoting habits and routines that allow them to thrive,” Hulett said.
In addition, Lake Regional has occupational therapists specially trained to treat lymphedema (chronic swelling that usually affects the arms and legs); hand injuries; and pelvic floor disorders.
Lake Regional offers occupational therapy at the hospital in Osage Beach and at Lake Regional Rehab Therapy in Eldon. For more information, visit lakeregional.com/occupationaltherapy or call 573-302-2230.