Occupational therapy can help you or your loved one relearn skills or learn a new, easier way to do something and increase independence. In recognition of National Occupational Therapy Month this April, Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation’s occupational therapist Sarah Williams, OTR/L, CLT, answers questions about occupational therapy.

What type of patients do you treat as an occupational therapist?

I treat patients with orthopedic disorders and injuries, such as arthritis, fractures, rotator cuff dysfunction. I also help patients with neurological disorders such as brain injuries and strokes and lymphatic disorders that are commonly found in individuals with cancer.

What type of activities do you help your patients with?

Occupational therapists help their patients develop, recover, improve or maintain the skills they want or need for daily living (often referred to as activities of daily living) and working.  Sometimes my day will consist of helping my patients improve their range of motion and muscle strength or teaching energy conservation techniques. Other days I might be educating my patients on an at-home exercise program, teaching them how to use adaptive equipment and or provide caregiver training.

What are activities of daily living?

Activities of daily of living refer to a task that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Activities of daily of living can include eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, hygiene, writing, cooking, walking and many more.

Could you or a loved one benefit from occupational therapy?