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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Do you struggle with a disease, disorder, or limitation that makes it difficult to engage in everyday activities? Occupational Therapists at Holsman Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation can help increase your activity participation and independence. 


Occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapy helps people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and addresses the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping people recovering from injury to regain function through retraining and/or adaptations, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes, and helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and develop social skills.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client, family, and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or to modify the intervention plan based on the patient’s needs and skills.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments, recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, training in how to modify a task or activity to facilitate participation, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. 

Some of the benefits of Occupational Therapy (from AOTA EBP summary):

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) 
Aging in place, reducing rehospitalization, and promoting independence are all critical areas that
occupational therapy can address. A variety of OT approaches effectively address IADLs, which are
essential to healthy independent living and may affect long-term health, including
the following:
• Client-centered occupational therapy promoting improved activity levels, such as the Lifestyle Redesign®
• Exercise programs involving functional activities for older adults improve IADL performance.
• Progressive resistance strength training to improve community mobility and meal preparation.

Fall Reduction & Home Modification 

The need for home modifications may arise from a change in an older adult’s living circumstances as
well as changes in performance. Home modifications are an important component of a fall prevention
program. The following are effective occupational therapy interventions:
• Multicomponent or multifactorial interventions that address multiple risk factors to reduce falls, keeping
people safe at home.
• Occupational therapy assessment of the client and home followed by home modifications to reduce falls for
clients with a history of falls, enhancing safety.
• Home modification and adaptive equipment provided by occupational therapy practitioners to reduce
functional decline and improve safety.
• Physical activity (regardless of type) to decrease fall risk and prevent falls.
• Home modification for older adults aging with a disability to reduce perceived difficulty with ADLs and
instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), facilitating participation and independence.

Low Vision Rehab 

Occupational therapy’s focus on engagement in valued occupations promotes participation through
compensatory strategies; this can decrease falls and chance of rehospitalization, while increasing
independence and well-being.
• Problem-solving strategies increase participation in ADL and IADL tasks.
• Problem-solving strategies, including enhanced illumination, increase leisure and social participation,
supporting mental well-being.
• Multicomponent patient education and training improve occupational performance, improving overall
• Patient education programs improve self-regulation in driving and community mobility, supporting
independence and function.


Occupational therapy can be important and effective at all stages of recovery to achieve optimal
function in home, community, work, education, and other life activity sectors.
• ADL-specific home-based interventions improve ADL performance.
• Repetitive task practice improves occupational performance.
• Constraint-induced movement therapy improves upper-extremity function and occupational performance.
• Cognitive rehabilitation improves global cognitive function and improves ADLs for clients with apraxia.
• Strengthening and exercise improve upper-extremity function, balance, mobility, and occupational
• Problem-solving techniques and motivational interviewing reduce depression following stroke.
• Home-based leisure programs improve participation in and satisfaction with leisure pursuits, supporting
mental well-being.

Health Management

Managing chronic conditions is key to healthy living for older adults. Occupational therapy practitioners
provide interventions that enable clients with chronic clinical conditions to restore and maintain
participation in a variety of occupations and can be incorporated into comprehensive care systems.
• Client-centered occupational therapy targeting health management in frail older adults and older adults with
osteoarthritis or macular degeneration improves physical functioning and occupational performance.
• Individually tailored self-management health programs coordinated by health professionals help to maintain
health gains.
• Peer-led self-management programs that include diagnosis-specific information, medication management,
and problem-solving skills enhance self-care.

Parkinson’s Disease

• Individualized Occupational Therapy interventions focusing on participant wellness, lifestyle modification, and personal control improve quality of life.
• Client-preferred external cues during ADLs improve motor control.
• Complex and multimodal activity (e.g., Tango dancing) to improve functional movement on a short-term
basis, supporting participation.
• Multisession, repetitive physical exercise tasks improve diachronic motor and sensory–perceptual
performance skills, improving function.
• Environmental cues, stimuli, and objects improve task and occupational performance.
• Auditory rhythmic external cues are more effective than visual, tactile, or other forms of cues to help
regulate walking in clients with Parkinson’s disease, supporting community mobility.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders 

• Client-centered occupational therapy can identify occupational performance issues and help clients
implement compensatory and environmental strategies, helping to maintain function.
• Client-centered activities (e.g., leisure) tailored to people with dementia improve participation in and
satisfaction with activities.
• Compensatory and environmental strategies that include cueing and step-by-step instructions improve
participation in activities and reduce caregiver burden.
• Caregiver education, including problem-solving strategies and technical skills (e.g., task simplification,
communication), simple home modifications, and stress management, reduces caregiver burden and
increases caregiver self-efficacy, improving overall care.
• Strategies that manage the physical environment (e.g., multifaceted interventions including removal of
physical restraints, fall alarms, exercise) promote participation in daily activities, enhancing wellness.
• Sleep routines and sleep hygiene strategies that manage daytime activities and nighttime sleeping, and
prompted voiding strategies for toileting, assist with caregiver burden.

At Holsman Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, our  Occupational Therapists work with individuals of all ages to promote independence in areas of self-care, work and leisure activities. Our therapist will work with orthopedic, neurological and any diagnosis which effects an individual’s ability to perform every day activities. Some diagnosis include stroke, joint replacement, arthritis, and cardiac conditions.

Self-care Evaluation and Training: A therapist will work with patients to teach techniques and use of adaptive devices to improve a person’s ability in the areas of bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, getting in/out of bathtub, on/off toilet and all other patient specific self-care tasks

Homemaking Evaluation and Training: An OT will assess one’s ability to perform all homemaking tasks including cooking, cleaning, laundry, making bed etc. Training involves alternate ways of performing the tasks with possible adaptive equipment or home modifications.

Joint Protection/Energy Conservation Technique Training: A therapist will work with a cardiac patient or other diagnosis which causes fatigue as well as the arthritic patient to teach techniques which conserve energy and/or protect further damage to joints while performing every day activities

Home Assessment: An occupational therapist can go into the home and suggest home modifications to enable one to function more independently and safely within their environment. This can include grab bars, ramps, adaptive equipment as well as simple safety techniques to prevent falls/danger in home.

Strengthening/Conditioning/Endurance: The therapist will work on individuals to maximize their overall strength to increase their ability to perform everyday tasks. This may include weights, therapeutic modalities as well as functional performance.

Functional Transfer Training: An OT will teach a patient how to safely perform every day transfers including getting in/out of tub, on/off toilet, in/out of bed, on/off a chair and in/out of a car.

Fine/Gross Motor Coordination: Therapy may involve the use of various tasks to increase a person’s coordination. Fine motor task include the use of small muscles and gross motor skills include the use of larger muscles.

Hand Therapy: Therapist will work on all hand injuries, orthopedic or neurological problems that affect the use of the hands to restore maximum function. Therapy may involve splinting as well as specific techniques, modalities to restore function.

Functional Balance Training: An OT will address balance issues that interfere with a person’s ability to perform functional daily tasks adequately and safely.

Cognitive/Perceptual Skills: In Occupational therapy a therapist will assess if there are cognitive or perceptual issues that interfere with the individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Interventions may include cognitive and perceptual retraining or teach compensatory techniques in order to function to one’s maximal potential.

Caregiver Training: A person may need assistance from a caregiver when they can no longer care for themselves. An OT will train the caregiver the proper techniques of transferring and working with the disabled safely while also protecting their own bodies.

Wellness and Recovery: A therapist will establish a proper program to promote wellness at home or in the clinic taking into account all of your specific needs including effects of aging, medication, blood pressure, and other conditions that need to be considered.

Wheelchair Assessment: The Occupational Therapist will evaluate and make recommendations for acquisition of an appropriate wheelchair to provide the individual with maximum comfort and functional ability.

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