Occupational therapy (OT) is an individual-oriented health profession which improves the health and well-being with meaningful and purposeful activities. Primary purpose of OT is to ensure the participation of individuals in the daily life activities. OT practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Occupational therapists work with all the people who have been isolated from society or have limited participation in the society due to any health problems, any body structure or function disorders, or a social or cultural minority group they are a part of.
Activities are chosen with the OT therapist based on consulting individual’s health condition, interests, age and gender. Individuals participate actively in the OT process. 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 supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapists are interested in a wide variety of activities which are:
- Hand rehabilitation
- Pediatric rehabilitation
- Geriatric rehabilitation
- Cognitive rehabilitation
- Psychiatric rehabilitation
- People with disabilities
- Vocational rehabilitation
Occupations which people are engaging with are mainly classified in three parts:
- Self-care: Sleeping, eating, clothing, care, and bathroom.
- Activity: Planning and implementation in order to fulfill a task.
- Recreational activities: Games and activities which individuals enjoy in accordance with their interest areas and/or another person’s request.
Occupational therapist evaluates the individual’s daily self-care abilities and their harmony with the environment in accordance with their development level based on age and creates a therapy plan by determining the individual’s needs and priorities.
Improvement is achieved by placing individual’s occupations such as self-care, school and job performance, daily life skills and activities in the center of therapy, and hence individual’s capacity is enhanced. In addition to these, adaptation to the environment and/or task is incorporated to the therapy, and individual can increase her/his quality of life.