During the month of April, we’re celebrating occupational therapy, our therapists at CORA Physical Therapy, and the incredible benefits it can have for you or someone you love.
Happy National Occupational Therapy Month! There are many reasons why the U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks occupational therapists near the top of its “Best Jobs” rankings, but most come back to one simple fact: it’s a job that helps people live their individualized lives.
For an infant, it could be teaching them fine motor skills to assist with developmental milestones. With children, it could be finding increased independence by learning to get dressed, or mastering the techniques of holding a pencil or fork.
Through adulthood, occupational therapy can assist with regaining physical ability after injury, navigating overuse injuries from hobbies and professions, and maintaining physical independence through aging. No matter what life brings, OT is there to help make it easier, more efficient and more enjoyable for patients.
How does it differ from the other comprehensive services that CORA has to offer? It has been said of OT: “If physical therapy teaches a person how to walk, occupational therapy teaches them how to dance.”
At CORA, our mission around OT services is driven by passion, purpose and possibility.
Passionate About Results
CORA’s passionate commitment to focus on therapeutic outcomes overlaps nicely with the principles of OT. We benchmark patient success not only on their progress through treatment but also their overall satisfaction with the services provided.
Occupational therapists treat a patient holistically, providing comprehensive therapies by engaging them physically, mentally and emotionally.
One example of this is CORA’s OT treatment for people with autism spectrum disorder. April happens to also be World Autism Month, with a focus on bringing awareness to the disorder. By making early OT interventions with young patients on the autism spectrum, CORA’s team of clinicians can help them to better interact with their environments. This includes everything from building gross and fine motor skills to life skills (sitting, playing, transitioning), to communication and problem solving.
Because ASD will impact patients in different ways throughout their lives, OT services can help provide a consistent resource to help patients adjust to life’s challenges.
Flexibility in Purpose
While there are universal tools and tricks of the trade, occupational therapy sessions tend to be highly personalized to the patient’s needs and circumstances.
With many young patients, OT can resemble fun and games, including singing, movement and physical challenges. This approach closely mimics how kids learn their environments, and gives them individual attention to practice any lagging skills. OT benefits have been shown for children with ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other developmental delays.
In adult patients, where the needs tend to shift from development delays to medical impairments, the approach changes as well. OT care for adults tends to be more collaborative and transparent, with benchmark goals and work to be done by the patient between visits. OT has been shown to have a measurable impact on anything from carpal tunnel to amputation, joint replacement to burns.
In geriatric patients, the purpose is often to help maintain independence and prolong the highest quality of life. This can mean recovering from health episodes like a heart attack or stroke, as well as coping with long-term health conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease or dementia.
While there is flexibility in purpose, the underlying goals are the same: to build skills, build independence, and build confidence in newfound or recovered abilities.
Possibilities for the Future
Despite its global impact, OT is a relatively young medical field, only celebrating its 100th birthday in 2017. As training, tools and best practices become more refined, we expect to see an increase in both the quantity and quality of OT care.
At CORA Physical Therapy, we always have one eye on the future of healthcare. When COVID-19 caused nationwide lockdowns, we were ready within weeks to provide remote, private and secure physical and occupational therapy care through our TeleHealth by CORA system. One year later, with vaccines rolling out nationwide, CORA remains committed to imagining the possibilities for increased access to care.
Powered by MedBridge, using TeleHealth means no interruption to plans of care, even when scheduled clinic visits are not an option. By leveraging texting, videos and video conferences, our highly-trained clinicians are able to conveniently, easily and securely ensure patients continue to progress.
Ready to Serve You
At CORA, our goal is to provide the highest possible quality of care within the coverage that you have available. Having trouble deciding which options are best for you? Please contact our team at [email protected] with any questions.