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How occupational therapy can help you get your life back

We all have routines — from reading the morning paper with a cup of coffee to catching the same train to work. Routines bring a sense of order and comfort to life but we seldom appreciate them until they are disrupted. If a medical event makes it difficult to return to these familiar routines, it can be challenging. Occupational therapists understand the complex relationship between people and their environments and work to re-establish that relationship following a medical event.

While many health care experts focus on what is the matter with you, an occupational therapist is there to determine what matters to you, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association. Occupational therapists are focused on helping people return to a familiar routine that brings a sense of control to life. Here are four areas that occupational therapists can address.

Showering, dressing and grooming are things that can usually be done without thinking. But after a medical event, barriers might arise. Occupational therapists help patients recover and improve the skills they need for daily self-care. Occupational therapists can also recommend devices and strategies to make it possible to overcome difficulties. For example, to help with balance issues in the shower, the occupational therapist might suggest installing specific grab bars or shower chairs. There are many other assistive devices to help with fine motor tasks like getting the cap off toothpaste or finding a way to put on socks. The goal is to be as independent and safe as possible.

Home management
Getting around your home can be complicated following a medical event but an occupational therapist helps patients regain skills, as well as suggest strategies to overcome any barriers. This might mean moving frequently used items in the kitchen to lower shelves, changing door knobs to levers and rearranging closets to make clothing more accessible. There are ways to clean up a spill that don’t require kneeling on the floor and there are pitchers that make it easier to dispense a beverage without spilling. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do around the house, an occupational therapist helps you to see what you can do.

Work and leisure activities
It would be a mistake to assume that you can no longer experience meaningful activity after a medical event. Many people are able to return to work and hobbies following an illness or surgery with assistance from an occupational therapist. These professionals are experts in task analysis. They can break down an activity into separate parts like standing, stooping, reaching, lifting and sorting. Then they look at each part to see ways that modifications can be made so the activity becomes possible to complete again. Employers today are more willing to address special needs for employees by installing ramps for accessibility or allowing special equipment to be used. Being able to return to meaningful activity helps maintain quality of life.

Personal safety
When normal mobility is altered, regular daily activities can become hazardous. Something as simple as the throw rug by the front door can result in a fall and serious injury. The steps in your home could also be a hazard without proper hand railings. An occupational therapist is able to identify potential hazards before accidents happen and provide ways to avoid injury. There are safe ways to get out of bed or exit a car that can be followed to reduce chances of an accident. An occupational therapist is experienced in identifying and dealing with possible hazards in your life.

A multifaceted recovery
Whether you are recovering from surgery or a medical event, getting back to normal life can present many more challenges than can be handled alone. For the fastest and the best possible recovery, the expert team of professionals at Glenview Terrace provides one-on-one occupational, physical and speech therapies seven days a week. Everything from pain management to regaining independence and daily skills are expertly handled by staff members who can help you reach your goals successfully and get back to your life quickly and safely.

During your stay at Glenview Terrace, you will also experience elegantly appointed surroundings. Comfortable rooms with deluxe walk-in showers, concierge service, coffee and newspaper delivered to your room daily and satellite television make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

With the outstanding clinical outcomes and acclaimed therapy found at Glenview Terrace, you can expect to get back to the independent lifestyle you desire. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.

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