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Occupational Therapy: The Benefits and the Desired Outcomes

Let’s face it, therapy is a broad topic and people often get confused when their loved one must go through rehabilitation. Which therapy is which, what do the various focuses under the therapy umbrella really mean, and how is this going to help my loved one? That is why we wanted to focus this blog on Occupational Therapy in Post-acute care facilities: What is it is and what are the intended outcomes?

Occupational Therapy focuses on the mastery of skills that help patients develop, recover, or maintain daily living skills after a debilitating accident. The goal of an occupational therapist is to help individuals have independent, productive and satisfying lives.

There are solid benefits to occupational therapy – those where it is easy to measure the progress, such as improving a patient’s skills to achieve independence in feeding, bathing, dressing and other self-care activities. The less obvious benefits of occupational therapy may include:

  • Helping a Post-acute patient appropriately respond to information coming through the senses. This may include developmental activities, sensory integration or sensory processing.
  • Facilitating activities that instruct as well as aid a patient in interacting and communicating with others.
  • Identifying needed assistive technology devices and supports.
  • Preparing the family and patient for changes in routines.

What is the Desired Outcome of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists identify desired outcomes and determine the services, supports, and accommodations needed to achieve those outcomes. Through an understanding of the impact of disability, occupational therapists work to improve a Post-acute patient’s ability to function in everyday life.

There is not a one size fits all option when it comes to occupational therapy. The primary desired outcome of the treatment is to help a patient learn to be as independent as possible. Since each patient is unique, the goals and outcomes of the therapy treatment plan will be specific to that patient and his or her needs.

Patients and families should understand that therapy is ongoing until the patient attains the necessary skills. Once skills are mastered in one area, for example self-care, the therapy will focus on other skills that are needed to be functional in the community. The nature of the therapy depends on the disability, how quickly he or she learns new skills and the goals of the family.


Real People. Remarkable Care.  South Coast Post Acute.

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