Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists focus on the varied tasks and activities that occupy our time and energy, and provide meaning and focus in our everyday lives. Occupational therapy focuses on enabling individuals to participate in the pursuits that provide them with value and meaning. Occupational therapists recognize, evaluate, and offer intervention to people with MS and their family members to address three broad areas of occupation:

• Self care activities - functional mobility, dressing, bathing, grooming, and eating
• Productive activities - paid work, home management, caregiving, and volunteer activities
• Leisure activities - involvement in social and recreational pursuits.

Evaluation by an occupational therapist identifies the current and anticipated barriers to participation in any / all of these areas. Interventions then focus on
eliminating or reducing those barriers. Interventions may include, but are not limited to: prevention, education, consultation, compensation, and remediation with the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful activities to achieve therapy goals.

Talk with an occupational therapist if you are interested in assistance in self-care, productive, or leisure activities. He or she can make recommendations about:

• Home adaptations that can make transfers safer and easier
• Upper extremity range of motion, stretching, and strengthening
• Fine motor skills
• Splinting (as appropriate) to assist with decreasing spasticity, especially in hands and fingers, managing range of motion
• Cognitive function skills to aide with memory, attention, and / or organizational difficulties
• Fatigue management
• Balance
• Home / workstation / computer modification
• Safety awareness related to decreased sensation
• Activity adaptation:
   Self feeding / adapted utensils
   Bathroom equipment use
   Dressing / grooming aids
   Leisure / hobby adaptation / development
• Medication management
• Low vision adaptation

Our MS program Occupational Therapist is lymphedema certified and works closely with compression garment fitting companies to serve a wide spectrum of patients who experience symptoms ranging from mild swelling to lymphedema diagnosis.