Posted 04/10/2017

Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. It is a practice deeply rooted in science and is evidence-based, meaning that the plan designed for each individual is supported by data, experience, and “best practices” that have been developed and proven over time.

“What I love about occupational therapy is that I get to focus on the person, not their diagnosis. Whether that means helping a child learn how to tie their shoes or write their name for the first time or maybe helping an elderly man who can’t use his dominant arm learn how to cast a fishing rod. Helping the person, that's what I love about my job”, explains Madison Cole, one of the Occupational Therapists at the Center for Rehab and Sports Medicine.

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants focus on “doing” whatever occupations or activities are meaningful to the individual. It is occupational therapy’s purpose to get beyond problems to the solutions that assure living life to its fullest. These solutions may be adaptations for how to do a task, changes to the surroundings, or helping individuals to alter their own behaviors. “I love the creativity aspect of finding new ways for the patient to become independent with daily tasks in order to return home”, said Shandi James, an Occupational Therapist who works with inpatients at MCCH.

When working with an occupational therapy practitioner, strategies and modifications are customized for each individual to resolve problems, improve function, and support everyday living activities. The goal is to maximize potential. Wes Garrison, Occupational Therapist at Spring Creek Health Care and Rehabilitation likes that he gets to work with patients and assist in their recovery process in order to get them back home with their family members at the highest level of ability possible. Through these therapeutic approaches, occupational therapy helps individuals design their lives, develop needed skills, adjust their environments (e.g., home, school, or work) and build health-promoting habits and routines that will allow them to thrive.

By taking the full picture into account—a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup as well as their environment—occupational therapy assists clients to do the following:

• Achieve goals
• Function at the highest possible level
• Concentrate on what matters most to them
• Maintain or rebuild their independence
• Participate in daily activities that they need or want to do.

Murray Calloway County Hospital is celebrating Occupational Therapy month by recognizing our licensed Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants that work in our hospital, out-patient rehab and at Spring Creek Healthcare and Rehabilitation. For more information on how Occupational Therapy can help you or a loved one live life to its fullest contact Keena Miller, Director of Rehab Services at MCCH at 270.762.1348.