Medical Monday Occupational Therapy

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 12:45 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Occupational therapy can be confused with physical therapy. While there is some overlap, there are also several differences. Renee Richards, an MS OTR/L CLT WCC at Northern Light AR Gould says Occupational Therapy covers “From pediatric to geriatric...”

Amanda Larrabee, an Occupational Therapist at Northern Light AR Gould, says “Occupational Therapy I think is one of those disciplines that really every single person could use in their life at one point or another.”

According to Larrabee, there are 8 main occupations targeted by Occupational Therapists.

“Activities of daily living, which are your bathing, dressing, toileting, your instrumental activities of daily living, which is like pet care, caring for others, cleaning. We also can help in work, so some big fortune 500 have occupational therapists on staff. Education, we have occupational therapists in the schools to help with any school related tasks. Play, because play is the work of children and that’s how we learn. Then we have leisure, which is interesting because it’s different than play because it’s scheduled. Leisure would be like the people that go golfing or go play tennis.” She says.

Sleep and social participation are the final two occupations targeted. While occupational therapy has been around for a long time, Larrabee and Renee Richards both say people often confuse it with other therapies, especially physical therapy.

Larrabee adds, “The biggest difference, I would say, is that, physical therapy ambulation, so walking, stair climbing, dynamic balance. Occupational therapy would also look at dynamic balance, or making sure you can ambulate a certain distance in order to cook, or in order to access those occupations.”

Richards says, “There is a lot of overlap, just where we have a broader spectrum. Some of the things we might focus on are hand writing skills or bathing or dressing. A big part of it is trying to regain as much function as someone can possibly have. Some of that is compensatory strategies or different ways to compensate for an injury.”

If you think an occupational therapist might be a good fit for your medical needs, you can speak with your primary healthcare provider. Kelly O’Mara, NewsSource 8

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