What Occupational Therapists Should Know About Their Patients

June 15, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

There’s usually some confusion about what an occupation therapist does, because the name can be slightly confusing. The best answer: everything.

OK, so that’s not really much of an answer. But occupational therapists will really help you with just about anything. Because their primary objective is to make your life easier and more manageable. After all, if you have a disability, then you are struggling with at least some daily activities. That’s why they’re there.

So what do occupational therapists need to know about their patients?

What is the extent of your paralysis?

They will probably be able to figure this out on their own, but they may have a discussion with you about the extent of your abilities. What is your range of motion? How mobile are you? What’s your arm strength like? This info will help the therapist figure out what you can do.

What would you like to be able to do?

Some of us have very specific activities we like to do ourselves, or we have routines that could be disrupted by the wheelchair. The occupational therapist can help you figure out the best way to accomplish these goals based on your new restrictions. For instance, do you enjoy going for afternoon strolls? The therapist can teach you how to navigate the outdoor terrain better.

How independent would you like to be?

It’s important for you to be comfortable with your daily activities and never feel unsafe, which is why your level of independence is important. Some folks want to do everything themselves, while others are just trying to have a painless day. So discuss what kind of independence you’d like with the therapist. Do you want to be entirely self-sufficient? That’s going to take some work, but the therapist will help you out.

Do you have all of the accessories/supplies you need?

There are certain items and accessories that can make life much easier for wheelchair users, such as anti-tip bars and our product, Pants Up Easy. Your therapist can suggest items that could help you during your daily routines, or alterations to the home that could help you.

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