Occupational therapy helps people across all ages do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapists enable people to live life to its fullest by helping them promote good health and prevent, or live better with, injury, illness or disability. Occupational therapy takes a holistic approach, with a focus on adapting the environment or task (activity) to fit the person.
Who benefits from occupational therapy? Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recover from injury to regain skills, and providing support mechanisms for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy’s value is in improving health and the quality of life by facilitating participation and engagement in the meaningful, necessary and familiar activities (occupations) of everyday living. Occupational therapy is client-centered and provides positive outcomes in a cost-effective manner. In the United States, 10,000 people per day are reaching age 65. By 2030, close to 20% of the population will be age 65 or over. As this group ages and seeks to remain independent in their homes, occupational therapy will become an even more important service to help people overcome difficulties performing activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, etc., as their physical conditions and capabilities deteriorate.