Occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
If you or a loved one are struggling with everyday tasks, it may be time to see an occupational therapist. Here are seven signs that you or a loved one may need occupational therapy:
Difficulty with self-care activities
If you or a loved one is having difficulty performing activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the restroom, occupational therapy can help. Occupational therapists can provide strategies and devices to make these activities easier and more efficient.
Difficulty with fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are the small muscle movements we use for tasks like writing, buttoning a shirt, or using silverware. This can be a common issue for people with conditions like cerebral palsy, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease. An occupational therapist can help improve fine motor skills through activities and exercises specifically designed to target these muscles.
Difficulty with cognitive skills
Cognitive skills involve our ability to think, learn, and remember. If you or a loved one is having difficulty with cognitive skills, occupational therapy can help. Occupational therapists can provide activities and exercises to help improve attention, memory, and problem-solving abilities.
Difficulty with social skills
If you or a loved one is having difficulty interacting with others or participating in group activities, occupational therapy can help. Social skills like conversation, turn-taking, and eye contact can be addressed through occupational therapy.
Sensory processing issues
Sensory processing is how our brain interprets and responds to information from our senses. If you or a loved one is having difficulty with sensory processing, occupational therapy can help. Occupational therapists can provide activities and exercises to help desensitize or sensitize the individual to certain stimuli.
Poor energy level or fatigue
If you or a loved one is experiencing fatigue or a low energy level, occupational therapy can help. Occupational therapists can provide energy conservation techniques and strategies to help increase activity tolerance. This can be especially helpful for people with conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Poor mental health
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, occupational therapy can help. Occupational therapists can provide interventions to help improve mood and coping skills. They can also provide education on how to manage mental health symptoms.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these issues, occupational therapy may be able to help. Occupational therapy billing can be covered by insurance, so it is important to check with your provider to see if occupational therapy services are covered. If you are not sure if occupational therapy is right for you or your loved one, you can always ask for a free consultation with an occupational therapist.