Occupations are any life activity that “occupies” your time and attention. They are activities that are meaningful to you and purposeful. Occupations can include looking after yourself, activities that help you enjoy life, or help to contribute to the social and economic fabric of your community. Occupations include the things people need to, want to, or are expected to do. Occupational activities are completed individually, within families, and within communities.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is rooted in the belief that there is a positive relationship between occupation and health. People are occupational beings, meaning that we cannot function at our best when we are not engaged in activities that are meaningful to us. By virtue of our biological makeup, people of all ages and abilities require occupation to grow and thrive. Occupational Therapy focuses on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual skills necessary for healing through engagement with those activities.
Occupational Therapy practice emphasizes the engagement with daily occupations to promote healthful, productive, and satisfying living. It is in pursing occupation that humans express the totality of their being, a mind-body-spirit union. Occupational Therapy also focuses on occupational justice and injustice, identity, time use, satisfaction, engagement, and performance related to everyday tasks.
What can I work with an Occupational Therapist about?
Examples: Social and emotional health promotion and maintenance, symptom and condition management, communication with the health system, medication management, physical activity, nutrition management, personal device management.
Daily Living Skills (skill acquisition and adaptive techniques)
ADL (activities of daily living) –
Examples: bathing, showering, toileting, toilet hygiene, dressing, functional mobility, personal hygiene and grooming, etc.
IADL (instrumental activities of daily living) –
Examples: Care of others, care of pets/animals, child rearing, communication management, financial management, home establishment and management, meal prep and cleanup, religious/spiritual expression, safety and emergency maintenance, shopping
Examples: Formal educational participation, informal personal educational needs or interest exploration, informal educational participation.
Employment interests and pursuits, employment seeking and acquisition, job performance and maintenance, retirement preparation and adjustment, volunteer exploration, volunteer participation.
Examples: Play exploration and participation
Examples: Leisure exploration and participation
Examples: Community participation, family participation, friendships, intimate partner relationships, peer group participation.
What Can I Expect When Working with an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational Therapy can seem very scary, but really, intervention is all based on YOU. Occupations are unique to each person, so we generally start off by visiting about what is important to you. Once we identify those occupations, we can identify any needs and set goals to help you engage in the occupations. Intervention is really a partnership between you and your occupational therapist.
How Can I Contact the Occupational Therapist at RCDVC?
Call the center at 605-665-4811 and speak to one of the Coordinators. The advocates can connect you with the Occupational Therapy service. Appointments are available on Thursdays and Fridays.
References: American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd.ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(Suppl. 1), S1-S48. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.682006 American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (4th ed.) American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74 (Suppl.2), 7412410010. https://doi.org/10.2014/ajot.2020.74S2001