Occupational therapy: transforming lives, building independence

Agnesian HealthCare Marketing & Public Relations

Do you have physical limitations that impair your ability to complete any of your “normal” daily activities? An occupational therapist at Agnesian HealthCare may be able to help to improve quality of life if the limitations are caused by shoulder to hand dysfunction, chronic pain, deconditioning due to cancer treatment, lymphedema or incontinence.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month, and this year’s theme is “Occupational Therapy: Transforming Lives, Building Independence.”

Occupational therapists are healthcare providers with specialized knowledge and training to evaluate and treat impairments that decrease a person’s ability to care for self and family, as well as decrease quality of life. An occupational therapist can assess a person’s limitations and potential for benefit from therapy through knowledge of the body’s anatomy, understanding of how pain, cognition and emotion play a role in an individual’s life.

Occupational therapy is function focused, which can help enable a person to regain lost function and to be as independent as possible while always keeping safety in the forefront. Occupations are the activities that we do on a daily basis. For the husband and father, this may mean being able to do his job as a factory worker. For the stay-at-home mom, she needs to be able to care for her children and home. A 10-year-old child’s occupation is school and play. If you are unable to complete some or all of your occupations, an occupational therapist at Waupun Memorial Hospital may be able to help you.

Occupational therapy is always considered team work with the patent and therapist working together to meet the patient needs and goals. Therapy can include adaptive techniques to enable someone to complete a task with less pain and increased independence. Orthotics can be fabricated or suggested to protect injured joints and/or muscles. Modalities, exercise and manual therapy are often incorporated in therapy. Biofeedback may be used for incontinence. Massage and compression garments can help to decrease lymphedema. Home exercise programs assist patients follow through with gains made at therapy and progress further.

Occupational therapists are part of the Sports & Spine Center team within Agnesian HealthCare.

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