Occupational Therapy Practice Areas: Children, Health And Productive Aging

It is a fact that Occupational Therapy is a field of medicine that aims to improve a patient’s quality of life through gaining independence. Patients of occupational therapy are people who have physical, mental, emotional and behavioral problems. Often, these people have trouble performing daily tasks on their own, which makes it hard to be a functional part of society.

Occupational therapists can treat any patient from young to old. They can treat infants, children, teenagers, adults and elderly. Occupational therapists can also treat different conditions that affect a particular situation in a patient’s life. Here, you will know more about the three practice areas namely children and youth, health and wellness and productive aging. If you want to pursue an OT practice area, this will help you had better understand what you would learn from each.

Children And Youth

This occupational therapy practice area focuses on infants, children and young adults. There are different emerging areas that you will have to study and learn. These topics are very important in improving the lives of children today.

Youth And ChildrenOne of the emerging areas in OT practice area Children and Youth is the broader scope of school. Occupational therapists are helping children through assisting schools with scientific-based research. What is this for? It helps schools to address different learning disorders of children. In addition, it will help schools tackle real-life children issues like school safety, social issues and mental health of students. This aims to give equal opportunity to the regular and disabled students.

Autism is another practice area you will work on. 1 out of 110 kids are autistic and having this illness can really affect a child’s life. Insurance companies are now covering occupational therapy treatments for autistic kids. Occupational therapists work to help the autistic patient gain some form of independence while also identifying causes and prevention methods.

Bullying is a social problem, which affects how a child sees school and his surroundings. On top of that, cyber bullying is getting worse too. This affects 1 out of 5 children from 10-18 years. Bullying greatly affects a child’s mental and emotional health and this should be a concern. Occupational therapists can help children who are being bullied and how to prevent them from being bullied in the future.

Obesity is a problem for both children and adults in the US. However, it is best to start treating obesity during the younger years. Obese children not only have physical problems but their emotions can be affected to. Thus, occupational therapy aims to help children who are obese, help them lose weight and also help in the prevention of gaining too much weight in the future.

Teen Driving With Disability tackles the problem of allowing disabled teenagers to drive if they can do so. As long as their driving skills past the driving test, they should be allowed to drive. However, a disability can really affect how a teenager can drive safely. An occupational therapist will help the teenager to acquire the needed skills to be able to drive on public streets safely.

Transitioning is an important area that occupational therapists have to learn. Children with disabilities are always treated specially but this cannot last forever. Parents and occupational therapists work together to help the child in transitioning to a better phase of life. This means that the child will have to be more independent in performing daily tasks.

Health And Wellness

The Health and Wellness occupational therapy practice area involves providing the best healthcare services to all individuals who need it. This OT practice area has grown in importance and significance the past years. This is a practice area concerned with the health and wellness of society in general. Occupational therapists believe that everyone deserves a healthy body despite busy schedules. Sickness and diseases are always around the corner and occupational therapists are working with the government to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Chronic Disease Management is for people suffering from chronic conditions. The aging population is mostly affected with this. The government is spending huge money for people with chronic diseases but the economy will not hold up. It is best that people will know how to manage their chronic diseases with the help of occupational therapists. The government helps occupational therapists in this endeavor by passing a legislation to fund the prevention of illnesses and promotion of health to people with chronic diseases.

Just like with children, obesity is a huge problem when it comes to health and wellness. Obesity is caused by overeating, poor diet and eating junk foods. Such health condition leads to high blood pressure and heart diseases. Occupational therapists are working hard to educate the public about the negative effects of obesity and how to lose weight. Increasing the public’s awareness will be helpful in promoting health and wellness among the obese.

Prevention is an important part of health and wellness. When promoting health, the cure is not the answer. Prevention is always better than cure which is why the government and occupational therapists are working hard to prevent illnesses and diseases from spreading. Further, occupational therapists do their share of educating patients about disease prevention too.

Productive Aging Area

It is no surprise that the aging population is increasing. This is causing the huge demand for healthcare services today. Seniors start to lose independence, as their bodies grow weaker. As a result, seniors are more prone to sickness and illness as well as injuries. Because of this, more nurses and occupational therapists are needed to help improve their quality of life. The goal of this practice area is to help seniors still become functional parts of society.

Aging PopulationCommunity Mobility and Older Drivers are an issue among the aging population. The general public is concerned in allowing elders to drive. However, there is really no need to ban elders from driving in public streets as long as they are still capable to do so. Occupational therapists can help in maintaining their ability to drive.

Aging In Place and Home Modifications is about providing quality long-term care services at home. Since seniors feel more comfortable and safe at home, occupational therapists can perform home modifications to suit the new lifestyle. Most importantly, the homes should be safe for seniors to live in.

Low Vision among seniors is a common issue. 18% of the elderly population is suffering from low vision. Having low vision can greatly affect how a senior can perform daily tasks. The role of an occupational therapist is to help senior patients address this issue to be capable of functioning properly every day.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are common diseases to the seniors. 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease. Occupational therapists work to improve the patient’s quality of life and are also working to look for preventative measures.

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