Occupational Therapists: Healers dedicated to helping patients develop skills for daily living

BY BARRY WARNER

Nyack Hospital Occupational Therapist Dawn Smith is instructing hip-joint replacement patient Jeffrey Blumenthal on the use of the sock aid adaptive device, during the dressing task.
Nyack Hospital Occupational Therapist Dawn Smith is instructing hip-joint replacement patient Jeffrey Blumenthal on the use of the sock aid adaptive device, during the dressing task.

April is Occupational Therapy Awareness Month and the growth in Rockland County’s, as well as America’s elderly population, is expected to keep the job market for occupational therapists and certified occupational assistants especially favorable.

We’ve all heard the term, but what is an occupational therapist, exactly?

Occupational therapists have an overriding goal, which is to help patients perform daily living and working tasks, so they can lead independent and satisfying lives. They assist patients with a variety of activities that are essential to life including eating, bathing and dressing.

Adaptive devices, such as button hooks, grabbers and lifting cushions make it easier for patients to perform daily living tasks. Nyack Hospital Occupational Therapist Dawn Smith said, “The patient’s range of motion is complicated after a hip-joint replacement. The sock aid instrument holds the sock open and allows the user to pull up the sock without bending.”

Donna Knoebel, chairperson of the Rockland Community College’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Program stated, “Occupational Therapy Assistants help clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an Occupational Therapist.”

For additional information access www.aota.org.