Occupational therapists treat those who have a physical disability, injury or illness. In short, occupational therapists treat anything that can make an adult or child incapable of carrying out everyday chores and activities. This job isn’t easy and the progress if you choose to start this type of therapy doesn’t happen quickly, but when improvements happen they can alter daily life signifantly for the better. If you’re considering it, find the leading occupational therapy benefits for adults below.
There’s no shame in seeking help
A big hurdle for many people is asking for a helping hand. The first thought that may come to mind is that asking for help makes you weak – but it’s actually quite the opposite.
Speaking up to ask for assistance shows courage and the want to improve yourself. And that’s admirable.
As for who you’re reaching out to, if it’s to a reputable occupational therapist then you’re entrusting your care to someone who has the education and experience to provide it. Often these individuals are available round the clock and need to put in all sorts of efforts to resolve the issues. Sometimes, they have to evaluate a certain case person for up to six months or wake up for patients at the crack of dawn.
While this may make occupational therapy seem a burden, it isn’t the actual case. Simply put, it is a person seeking help from another till he or she can get back on feet. With increasing awareness regarding therapy, there is also an increase in the number of rehabilitation centers like occupational therapy Gold Coast.
Bad times don’t announce they’re coming, unfortunately, and if anything goes wrong and bad luck knocks on your door then it’s best to take a helping hand. Seeking occupational therapy isn’t something to be ashamed about.
But if you still aren’t sure, the following benefits will hopefully help you see that value in seeking out an occupational therapist in adulthood.
4 occupational therapy benefits:
1. Increases your independence
Nobody likes being a burden or being overly dependent on others. Think about how you felt when you didn’t have your drivers’ license and had to be driven around by your elder siblings or parents, or how annoying it felt in your early teenage years when you weren’t able to go out whenever you wanted to.
Now multiply that feeling by a thousand times and that’s likely how you feel when you can’t perform essentials like eating, bathing or dressing yourself without someone’s assistance. If this limitation has become extremely frustrating for you, this type of reaction is natural, especially given the private nature of many of these activities.
Occupational therapy solves this problem in a few major ways. The most obvious point is that it helps you with these daily tasks to make your life easier (and speed up activities).
Secondly, you learn how to develop the skills to do the activity on your own. In this way, you’re gaining independence – and confidence, which is another of the occupational therapy benefits on this list.
As the sessions continue, start to polish your skills to move more freely. Over time, begin to do things on your own, perhaps beginning with tying your shoelaces. Eventually, occupational therapy takes one on a journey of complete independence.
As for the private nature of assistance with dressing or taking a bath, rest assured that an occupational therapist is professional; this is their job and not an environment to judge you in any way. Helping you feel comfortable and building connection is a big part of working in any type of therapy.
2. Boosts confidence
As adults, life isn’t always easy. That feels like an understatement sometimes!
Some days can feel like you’re under constant pressure. A lot of responsibilities accompany adulthood and sometimes you just don’t know what to do or how to go about doing it. You feel utterly helpless, hopeless and fatigued.
By undergoing occupational therapy and talking to and getting help from someone every day, you can start to gain confidence. With every small thing that you do and milestone that you achieve, you start to believe in yourself a little bit more than before.
The reality is that the world is a lot more than just black and white; it has many shades of grey – and beautiful colors too as you start to see hope in your own abilities.
When you start to feel that you are improving physically, for example, with the targeted help of an occupational therapist, then mentally you’ll likely grow stronger too.
This surge of self-confidence can get you to the point where you feel ready to face the world again. You feel better in your skin and ready to step back in the amazing (and complex) game of life.
More occupational therapy benefits:
3. Improves cognitive skills
Cognitive skills are a set of abilities that deal with how the mind learns and problem-solves. This umbrella term includes all sorts of tasks that involve:
- Finding solutions
Occupational therapy deals with all of these points. A key goal is to train and help the mind to be able to problem-solve.
You might take part in games that cover the aforementioned aspects. These games vary; they can involve words or cards, for example. They can be chess games, research-based games, games that involve physical activity and so on.
If you participate in these games daily, your mind grows accustomed to the challenges. Occupational therapists focus on preparing their minds for new obstacles, informing strategies to overcome the same and coming up with new solutions.
These activities can make for a more active and responsive mind.
4. Better physical strength
Just like the mind, the body needs exercise too and needs to be active. This point is another way occupational therapy can be very useful.
The program includes various physical activities that give you constant movement. This process gives your bones and joints the opportunity to move around and function.
Developing your fine motor skills can take time and requires patience. Sessions with a occupational therapist can include working on dexterity and balance.
These activities don’t refer to a heavy workout with planks or squats. The activities train your body to carry out basic activities, such as cutting with a knife, using scissors, writing, grasping things, holding items and being able to pick up things. These seemingly small activities may play a major role in reinstating the body’s movements in the long run.
Final Words on occupational therapy benefits
Occupational therapy is ideal for those who want to resolve obstacles to everyday life, including the examples provided throughout this post. The professionals in this field have a large skill-set to help you, including determination, hard work, adaptability, understanding of others, and excellent communication skills.
They are trained to work within the health and social care sector with different approaches, depending what will work best for you and what you prefer most. Together you can build trust and receive unconditional support, both physically and emotionally.
After reading the top advantages, if you now want to pursue occupational therapy, go to a rehabilitation center or talk to people who have undergone the treatment. Be sure to monitor the changes before, during and after the therapy to help build your confidence. Wishing you all the best.