SANGEETHA A VARGHESE
World Occupational Therapy Day is observed on October 27 every year, aiming to promote the mission and goals of occupational therapy and thereby heightens the visibility of the profession. An occupational therapy practitioner will help people in promoting health and well-being and thus improves one’s quality of life.
Occupational Therapy is a client-centered health profession, which enables people of all age group to live life to the fullest by enhancing their ability to do activities they want to, need to and expected to do or by modifying the environment or occupation. Occupational therapy practitioners (OT) help the client to gain or regain the skills that are needed to complete their everyday tasks at home, school, workplace or community. The holistic perspective of occupational therapy considers a person as a whole by understanding every aspect of their life.
Occupational therapist works with all age groups from the paediatric to the geriatric population. Common specialties in occupational therapy include gerontology, where practitioners work with frail older adults with various diagnosis such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke and so on, and aim to provide interventions with a focus on environment modification, use of adaptive equipment or assistive technology to facilitate independence in performing daily activities, reduce risk of fall and ultimately improve quality of life.
In paediatrics, practitioners help children to explore and facilitate engagement in age-appropriate activities that can enhance various (cognitive, social, self-help skills, emotional and behavioural regulations, pre-writing skills, pre-school preparation) skills of a child and thus ensures maximum performance of child within his/her potential. Occupational therapy practitioners have a major role in psychiatry, where the therapists aim to facilitate maximum independence in the performance of self-care and also provide vocational training to the clients.
Other areas of specialities are orthopaedics and neuro-rehabilitation, where clients with various diagnosis such as fractures, hip replacement, arthritis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, motor neuron disease and others are referred to an occupational therapist for rehabilitation services and focuses on achieving maximum independence in the way that’s best suits the client within his skills and capabilities. Environmental modifications at home, workplace, or school are carried out by occupational therapists to support in living, working or studying.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as an Occupational therapist, I would suggest all explore various activities, discover your hidden talents and make the best use of it. This pandemic is not the time to be idle rather be an explorer within yourself and it’s a great opportunity to take care of yourself and your well-being. Occupational therapists along with other health care professionals are trying their best to provide quality care to clients by following safety protocols and all the health professionals care for your well-being and quality of life.
Always feel free to seek the help of health professionals when needed. Telehealth is the ideal solution during these uncertain times and I would like to highlight the acceptance of telehealth by all the service users.
Sangeetha A Varghese is an Occupational Therapist at Prayatna Centre For Child Development