5711b276bd990_imageGREENSBURG – Occupational Therapy, often referred to as “OT,” is a health profession that provides skilled treatment to help individuals achieve and maintain independence in all aspects of their lives. It is an essential part of the rehabilitation process. The word occupational refers to “giving people the skills for the job of living.” All of these skills are necessary for an independent and satisfying life.

Occupational Therapists can treat any physical or mental problem problems which enables someone to perform everyday tasks. This therapy can be provided for anyone from young children to older adults. Some typical injuries/illnesses include: Injury to a hand, joint disease, injury that limits movement, cognitive impairments, inability to perform personal care tasks, paralysis and many more.

OTs can practice in many areas of physical health. Some of these include: Pediatrics, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health, Outpatient Clinics, Assisted Living Facilities, Schools, and even Mental Health. With all of these areas of practice, the goal of the Occupational Therapist is still the same, to increase the function and independence of a person so that he or she is able to perform activities alone or with very limited help.

Aside from adults, Occupational Therapists treat infants and children as it relates to their development, in and out of their natural setting. The therapist will provide an evaluation and treatment for children having difficulty with fine motor skills, attention, and sensory issues. Treatments may include utilizing therapeutic exercise, sensory integration, and motor control strategies to assist children. These therapies will improve the child’s ability to self-regulate their attention and arousal, develop fine motor coordination, and achieve age appropriate play and everyday living skills. Interpersonal interactions, feeding, dressing, and grooming skills are all tasks which can be addressed through Occupational Therapy treatment sessions.

The first step to receive Occupational Therapy is to obtain a physician referral from a family physician or specialist. Once this is completed, each person is evaluated and a treatment plan is designed to fit his/her needs. This evaluation helps the therapist determine the best treatment plan for the patient, along with the frequency of the treatments needed.

When it comes to coverage, most major insurance policies will cover Occupational Therapy. The patient will need to speak with their insurance provider in deciding how many treatments will be covered in one calendar year. Before scheduling any therapy, it is important to speak with the insurance provider and determine exactly what is covered and what will have to be paid out of pocket.

If you would like more information about Occupational Therapy or Pediatric Occupational Therapy at Decatur County Memorial Hospital, please call Rehabilitation Services at 812-663-1119 or visit our website at http://www.dcmh.net/services/rehabilitation/occupational-therapy/. Our Occupational therapists treat both inpatients and outpatients.

Ladine Lipinski is an occupational therapist at Decatur County Memorial Hospital Rehab Services.