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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy services at OCH are provided by licensed occupational therapists Jamie Yates and Linda Maiers.  The therapy they provide can mean a shorter hospital stay and an easier life at home and/or work following a physical injury or illness.

While physical therapy aids patients in regaining walking or other ambulatory skills, occupational therapy helps them regain specific functions such as dressing, cooking, making a bed and other fine motor skills that will allow them to return to a semblance of normal life at home or work.  The goal is to help people return to their previous levels of function following stroke, orthopedic problems, neuro-muscular problems, arthritis and general weaknesses by teaching them new skills or how to adapt their environment.

Occupational therapy often involves the use of equipment that helps people with activities of daily living (ADL). Getting a person back to their previous way of life doesn't necessarily mean he can do the same things the same way as before.  Sometimes devices are used to help people bathe, reach, put on socks or prepare a meal, for instance.  Equipment includes items such as long-handled bath brushes, elastic shoe laces, knob adapters for lamp switches and cutting boards with prongs to hold objects. Proper body alignment that provides joint protection and energy conservation is also emphasized.

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Occupational therapy, like all therapy, begins with evaluation and planning; the patient's needs and abilities must be assessed through interviews, referral information, history and test results. Next is the treatment stage where the patient's goal may include attaining greater mobility, joint flexibility and muscle strength, adjusting socially and emotionally (to a life change such as loss of limb, etc.), learning to use any prosthetic devices, and learning self-care skills, job skills, leisure and group activities. Progress and abilities are frequently assessed and the program of treatment re-evaluated, as changes in the therapy plan may be necessary to help attain goals.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEACHES:

  • Proper body alignment that provides joint protection and energy conservation

  • Children with Down's Syndrome or cerebral palsy better sensory processing, concentration and coordination by utilizing toys, blocks, pegs and balls

  • New skills to help patients adapt to their environment and regain normal levels of functioning following: stroke, orthopedic problems, neuro-muscular problems, arthritis and general weakness

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