April is Occupational Therapy month! That is not the only reason to celebrate: 2017 marks 100 years of Occupational Therapy. In honor of the people who have devoted their lives to this profession, I wanted to share a tribute to the Occupational Therapist to increase awareness about who they are and the value they bring to communities they serve.
What exactly does an Occupational Therapist do?
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy 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. (Source: AOTA.org)
So when a person is injured or suffers from a stroke or other illness, it is the Occupational Therapist who performs the therapy to help that patient regain the ability to perform tasks such as brushing teeth, using the bathroom , preparing a meal, and getting dressed. These tasks are often taken for granted or given very little thought. I admit being one of the many people who take these tasks for granted since we devote so little thought to performing them. While these are seemingly simple tasks, losing the ability to perform them can be a challenge of a lifetime. They also help children with developmental disabilities. Occupational Therapists help people recover from and/or adapt to limitations in order to improve or regain quality of life. What an amazing responsibility! Imagine the all of the lives that have been positively changed because of an Occupational Therapist.
Want to know more?
Check out this site devoted to the Centennial of Occupational Therapy.
Watch this TED talk given by an Occupational Therapist about accessible design.
Visit this site for resources and events.