Are Daily Tasks Difficult? The Many Ways Occupational Therapy May Help

Are Daily Tasks Difficult? The Many Ways Occupational Therapy May Help

By Stephanie Owens, MOT, OTR/L,
Valley Medical Center, Rehabilitation Services

Do you or a loved one find it hard to complete daily activities because of the way the body moves or doesn’t move? What about thinking skills—is it hard to pay attention, make decisions, remember things, figure things out or be aware of what to do to keep safe? Are limits to how the body works or thinks affecting mental health? Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to improve the ability to perform daily tasks or help teach new ways to do those activities. While occupational therapy contains the word “occupation” these therapists do not help you find a job! Their focus is on the functional skills we need to carry out our daily activities each day. Valley Medical Center offers occupational therapy in many areas of the clinic network and for those in the hospital. If you think you may benefit from occupational therapy, ask your healthcare provider for a referral.

Children’s Therapy

Occupational therapists treat children of all ages in the clinic to help them take part in play, self-care, home management, academic tasks, and social interactions. Occupational therapists also treat newborns hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit and adolescents hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or other mental health emergencies.

 Hand Therapy

Occupational therapists treat children and adults with upper limb sports injuries, orthopedic injuries, arthritis, and injuries caused by repeated motion. After surgery, they also offer care of the hand, wrist, forearm and elbow. With the goal of helping people become independent in their self-care, work and leisure, therapy includes treatment for soft tissue management, scar management, edema (swelling caused by excess fluid), control, range of motion, strengthening, job simulation, manual therapy, joint protection training through a variety of treatments. Learn more.

Neuro Rehabilitation

For adults with neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and peripheral nerve injury, occupational therapists can help people regain independence in daily activities. This includes treatment of spasticity, neuropathic pain, weakness or inability to move one side of the body, sensory impairments and movement disorders. We also provide vision rehab, driving readiness screening, and return-to-work pre-conditioning for neurological conditions, and devices to improve alignment.

Occupational Health Services

Occupational therapists treat clients with work-related conditions from work accidents and repetitive motion injuries. They provide therapy for acute arm and hand injuries with custom splinting, range of motion, strengthening, and work simulation to improve function with all activities of daily living and to reduce time away from work. Occupational therapists also perform functional capacity evaluations, work conditioning, job analyses, and ergonomic assessments to safely return injured workers to their jobs.

Rehabilitation During a Hospital Stay

Occupational therapists treat adults hospitalized with a wide variety of medical, orthopedic, or neurological conditions to prepare for safe discharge from the hospital and minimize readmissions. Patients and their caregivers may work with an occupational therapist on:

  • positioning and mobilization to prevent complications from hospitalization.
  • retraining in self-care skills to increase safety and independence with daily activities.
  • specialized care targeting the reason for hospitalization.
  • cognitive evaluations, equipment recommendations and caregiver training.

Learn more about occupational therapy at Valley Medical Center or call 425.690.3650 for an appointment.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office