Top 10 Reasons To Care About Occupational Therapy Month
Bethesda, MD—April is Occupational Therapy Month.
1. Productive Aging is in, while getting old is out. Occupational therapy practitioners help people continue to do the things they want and need to do as they age, from staying in their homes to participating in their communities. Our society's rapidly aging population, increased longevity, the changing world of work, and baby boomers’ focus on quality-of-life issues are some of the factors that are increasing the need for services in occupational therapy. Learn more at http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/PracticeAreas/Aging.aspx
2. Autism Spectrum Disorders affect 1 out of 110 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Occupational therapy practitioners address the significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges of children and adults with an ASD by evaluating the person, identifying areas of need, providing support and interventions, and collaborating with individuals diagnosed with ADSs and their families. Learn more at http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/PracticeAreas/Pediatrics/FAQ/Autism.aspx
3. Chronic illness can be debilitating—but it doesn’t have to be. Occupational therapy practitioners help people with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and more to effectively engage in everyday life and meaningful activities. . Learn more at http://www.aota.org/Pubs/OTP/2011-OTP/OTP-1-24-11.aspx?FT=.pdf
4. Occupational therapy can be more effective than medications in helping people with dementia and their caregivers, according to recent research. By 2050, the number of people with dementia is estimated to be 13.5 million. Occupational therapy can reduce their functional dependence, as shown in this study: http://www.aota.org/News/Media/PR/2010-Press-Releases/Alzheimer.aspx
5. Safe driving and community mobility are enormous concerns in our society. Occupational therapy practitioners understand progressive conditions and life changes that affect driving abilities, and can offer rehabilitation and adaptations or other options for community mobility. Learn more at http://www.aota.org/older-driver
6. Children’s play, social, and learning skills are essential for success. Occupational therapy practitioners address these and others areas necessary to help children succeed in school, http://www.aota.org/Consumers/consumers/Youth/Play.aspx. They will also ensure that their backpacks aren’t causing pain or injury. Learn more at http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/Awareness/School-Backpack-Awareness/Backpack08.aspx
7. Recovery from an injury is a marathon, not a sprint. After the initial trauma has been addressed, occupational therapy practitioners help people regain their lives on both a physical and emotional level. http://www.aota.org/Consumers/Professionals/WhatIsOT/RDP.aspx
8. Promoting mental health is just as important as addressing mental illness—and occupational therapy practitioners do both. http://www.aota.org/Consumers/Professionals/WhatIsOT/MH.aspx
9. Work performance can be compromised by physical or cognitive factors. Occupational therapy practitioners help people succeed at work by addressing ergonomics, adaptive aids, the environment, social supports, and other factors affecting the individual.
10. Occupational therapy is a booming and best job—for good reason. Occupational therapy practitioners help people of all ages and abilities to live life to its fullest. Learn more at http://www.aota.org/News/AOTANews/Best-Job.aspx
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to http://www.aota.org/.