A stranger walks into a bar and orders a drink. The barman starts chatting to him, and asks what he does. “I’m an occupational therapist, “ says the stranger. “Fantastic,” replies the barman, “can you find me a new job?”
Many people have heard the term “occupational therapy” but are not certain what it means. For occupational therapists, the term “occupation” means much more than a job. Moreover, fewer people are aware of the benefits of occupational therapy.
Such benefits can be significant and have transformed many people’s lives. Therefore, you should read on to discover how occupational therapy can boost your quality of life.
Occupational Therapy – a Background
Occupational therapy aims to improve your ability to perform and engage in everyday activities. These are considered “occupations”: an activity of daily life that “occupies” your time and brings purpose and meaning to life. Before delving into occupational therapy’s benefits, let’s look at its background.
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Having only been developed during the early 20th Century, occupational therapy is a relatively new medical initiative. In 1918, soldiers came home from the first World War and experienced significant disruptions to their daily lives. They then received vocational training in hospitals and institutions. In 1918, William Rush Dunton Junior wrote an article based on his observations. The paper, “The Principles of Occupational Therapy,” was published in Public Health. It discussed how people could benefit from engaging in meaningful occupations. This was instrumental in promoting occupational therapy and highlighting the benefits of this new medical practice.
In Canada, the first formal training program in occupational therapy was established at the University of Toronto in 1922. Over time, occupational therapy has evolved and grown as a profession in Canada. The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), has played a key role in promoting the value and importance of occupational therapy in Canada. Today, occupational therapy is recognized as a vital part of the healthcare system, and occupational therapists are highly trained professionals who work with people of all ages to help them achieve their goals and lead independent, productive lives.Today, societies for Occupational Therapy exist all over the world, including the World Federation of Occupational Therapy, which represents a global voice.
How Occupational Therapy can Improve Quality of Life
Occupational therapy can have many benefits including the following:
- Improve your ability to complete tasks and activities at home, work, or in social and leisure situations.
- Find alternative ways to complete challenging tasks.
- Adapt to lifestyle changes and develop new routines.
- Increase independence.
- Enhance health management skills.
Occupational therapy can boost quality of life by exploring new ways or adapting existing methods of completing everyday tasks. Such tasks are those you do most. Therefore, improving how you complete these could significantly boost your quality of life.
Who Can Benefit Most from Occupational Therapy?
Anyone can benefit from Occupational Therapy. However, it is particularly helpful for people who have experienced a significant change in their life. The following are examples:
- People with a physical disability or chronic illness
- People with mental health concerns or a mental illness
- Children or adults facing learning difficulties in school
- Older Adults
- People who are recovering from an illness or injury
An occupational therapist will work with you to establish and help you achieve your desired goals. Occupational therapy may include (but not always) working with your support network, including family and caregivers, teachers, and employers.
Occupational therapy focuses on developing functional methods to help people with everyday activities. To achieve this, occupational therapy focuses on mental, social, physical, and cognitive aspects of life using a holistic approach. Together, this can lead to a better quality of life.
Start Boosting Your Quality of Life Today
You can benefit significantly from occupational therapy if you have challenges to complete tasks at work, at home, during leisure time or socially. One of our occupational therapists is waiting to help you. So, contact us today, to see if together we can boost your quality of life through occupational therapy.