Occupational Therapy for Adults - Techniques, Equipments and Benefits

Occupational Therapy for Adults – Techniques, Equipments and Benefits

Do you know therapy is one of the most powerful treatments to treat many disabilities and illnesses? Many types of therapy are given as treatment for different types of problems. One of them is occupational therapy for adults. It has been proven very effective these days. Let’s discuss in this article about Occupational therapy, its techniques, equipment and benefits.

What is Occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a kind of rehabilitation that helps to recover and improve physical, mental and emotional disabilities in people so that they can perform their daily life activities more independently and easily Occupational therapy for adults involves many tools and techniques to help them overcome their limitations which may be caused by some injury, disability or illness, or it may be age-related.

They work with people of all ages. Occupational therapy can be used to treat a wide range of injuries, chronic illnesses developmental disorders and mental health issues also. 

What does an Occupational Therapist do for adults?

Assessment of functional abilities

As occupational therapists of adults, their work is helping them regain and improve their ability to perform daily life activities and do their work independently. Here is a list of some specific things that a therapist might do :

  • Assessment of functional abilities

Therapists will assess the abilities of the person. He will check if they can perform daily life activities like dressing, bathing, grooming and eating. They will also evaluate other abilities like coordination, balance and mobility.

  • Customised treatment plan

Based on the assessment, the therapist will customise a treatment plan for the person. That plan will include specific goals and interventions to improve a person’s functional abilities.

  • Provide time-to-time therapy

Therapists use a variety of interventions to help adults to achieve their goals. These therapy interventions may include exercise to improve mobility and strength, adaptive equipment to assist with daily activities and behavioural or cognitive strategy to improve function.

  • Educate patients and their families

Therapists provide education to patients and their families on how to use adaptive equipment, and how to perform daily activities efficiently and safely. They also educate them about how to prevent further disability or injury.

  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals

Occupational therapists work as a team with other healthcare providers such as a nurse and physicians. Overall they work in a systematic way to improve the functional abilities of patients.

Techniques and Equipment in Occupational Therapy of Adults

Occupational therapists use various techniques and equipment to help individuals. Here are some techniques and equipment used for occupational therapy in adults:

Cognitive therapy

Techniques:

  • Management of pain

These techniques are designed to help people to deal with chronic pain caused by any injury or illness. Therapists use a variety of techniques like massage, heat and cold, and relaxation to reduce pain. 

For example, arthritis patients, suggest techniques to reduce pain and how to do some activities to feel less pain. 

  • Hand therapy

This is a specialised technique used for those who lost their hand and finger activities due to some injury or neurological conditions. This technique focuses on rehabilitating hands and fingers. 

  • Cognitive therapy

This type of therapy focuses on skills like memory, attention, decision making and problem-solving. It can be beneficial in adults who have experienced trauma or stroke.

  • Activities of daily living (ADL)

This technique is used to help adults to regain their independence in their daily life activities. Therapists work with clients to develop strategies and adaptations that can help them. 

Equipment:

  • Adaptive equipment

These equipment refer to devices that are designed to help adults with their disability to perform daily activities. Examples:

  1. Wheelchair
  2. Walkers
  3. Grab bars
  4. Specialised utensils
  • Braces and splints

These are used for weakened joints to support and stabilise joints. They are also used to prevent contractures, which are painful and limit muscle tightness that can occur after surgery or injury. 

  • Assistive technology

It refers to devices of software that help adults to electronic devices and software that help adults to perform daily activities. Examples: 

  1. Speech-to-speech software
  2. Modified keyboard
  3. Hand-free operation device

Overall, occupational therapists use a combination of techniques and equipment to help adults to overcome their problems and disabilities. 

Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Adults

Pain management

Occupational therapy offers many benefits to adults. They help them to improve their ability to perform daily life activities. Here is a list of some of their benefits:

  • Increased functionality: help to regain lost function due to any injury or trauma.
  • Improved independence: help to improve their ability to perform daily activities.
  • Reduce the risk of falls: help in balancing and coordination.
  • Improved mental health: help in reducing stress and anxiety and improve the overall quality of life. 
  • Pain management: help by teaching techniques to manage pain.
  • Increased participation in activities: motivate them to participate in activities that will help them fulfilment of Life.
  • Increased social skills: encourage them to involve socially and make friends.

How do Occupational Therapists assist the elderly? 

Occupational therapists can help the elderly in a variety of ways. There is a list of some possible ways in which they can assist the elderly :

  • Help them to overcome the struggle of daily life

Many elderly struggles with daily life activities. Occupational therapists help them to overcome this struggle by teaching some techniques and recommending some tools which can help them.

  • Help with loss of vision

Do you know one out of three Americans after the age of 65 suffers some kind of vision problem? Occupational therapists can help them by conducting activities that will help them to improve perceptual vision.

  • Help in memory rehabilitation

Occupational therapists can help the elderly to regain their memory skills by conducting some memory puzzle activities, keeping stop signs and teaching their caregivers.

  • Help by educating their caregivers

Occupational therapists educate their caregivers by informing them what they are teaching their patients so that they can continue the same at home and report to you about improvements in their condition.

  • Help to  prevent fall 

Do you 1 out of 4 Americans suffer this problem of falling after the age of 65? It may seem like a minor issue but it can be dangerous. Occupational therapists help the elderly to balance and coordinate which will prevent them from falling.

Conclusion

Occupational therapy can be a powerful tool to improve the lives of adults with disabilities, injuries or some mental disorders. By using a combination of different techniques and equipment occupational therapists help adults to regain independence, improve cognitive function, enhance emotional well-being, and reduce their pain. Occupational therapy can help both adults and the elderly to live better lives.

References:

  • Effectiveness of occupational therapy in adults with musculoskeletal condition

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5182014/ 

  • Occupational therapy in adults with severe illness

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559113/ 

  • Use of joint mobilisation to improve clinical outcomes in hand therapy

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24044954/ 

  • Telehealth programme of occupational therapy among older people

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9640899/