This April, the United States is celebrating the 35th Annual Occupational Therapy month. Sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc (AOTA), this event recognizes the key role of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in improving the lives of people who need assistance to regain physical, social and cognitive capabilities.
Occupational Therapy (OT) was first recognized as a profession in 1917 with the founding of the Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy. Known now as the American Occupational Therapy Association, this organization certifies and accredits all practicing occupational therapists (OTs) in the United States. Presently, there are more than 1,00,000 OTs and assistants in a variety of settings across the country such as hospitals, specialty healthcare centers, nursing homes and assisted livings, clinics, and outpatient rehabilitation centers.
OT is a set of specialized assessments, treatments and strategies designed to assist people of all ages to perform routine activities of life. Occupational therapists assess the needs of patients by determining their areas of deficiency. They then develop personalized strategies to help them achieve their goals. These specialists help disabled children, adults, seniors and persons who are unable to do things independently due to a health condition or impairment such as traumatic injuries or illness. They offer, promote and support tailored exercise and physical activity programs and encourage patients to identify, create, and carry out daily routines and activities that can maintain or improve their health and wellbeing.
Occupational Therapy Month provides the opportunity to educate the public about the significant contribution made by occupational therapists in improving the quality of life of people. During the month, hospitals and healthcare centers across the country host presentations, seminars, health fairs, and other events to highlight the role of OTs in helping people improve their quality of life. AOTA also encourages occupational therapists to get the word out about the services they provide to help people “Live Life to its Fullest”.