Role of the Occupational Therapist in the Management of Rheumatic Disease

occupational therapist

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are licensed healthcare providers who have a masters or doctoral degree. You can find OTs in hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing facilities, schools, mental health facilities, and home health agencies. OTs are specialists in life tasks. They work with you to identify daily activities that are important to you and have become difficult to do. These activities can be related to any of the following: self-care, such as bathing or dressing; home tasks, such as cooking or cleaning; work/school tasks, such as typing, driving, or learning; and hobby/fun tasks, such as sewing, games, or sports.

Should I see an Occupational Therapist?

If you are having trouble with any of the following, an occupational therapist can help.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
An OT can teach you how to complete important activities that you need to do each day when symptoms of pain, stiffness, fatigue, or stress make it difficult to move through your day.

Joint Protection
There are many devices that can make your life easier and ease the strain on your tender joints. An OT can talk to you about your life and teach you how to use these tools to help you get things done. OTs can make splints or recommend equipment to make your life easier.

Mental Health
If memory, thinking, reasoning, anxiety, or lack of social support are making it difficult for you to function in your home, school, work, or community, an OT can help you find solutions to these difficulties.

Environmental Barriers
OTs can look at your living situation, including home, work, and community environments, and teach you how to overcome barriers.

Work
OTs can consult with you and your workplace to recommend accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnoses and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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