Occupational therapy is the study of customizing tools for patients who have disabilities so as to ease their routine tasks and impart independence in their lives. Related to practice framework, some modification accordingly.
Occupational therapists do not do the actual treatment as that is largely a part of the job of physical therapists.
Rather they simply aid the lives of patients with a certain disability. For example, a patient with cerebral palsy may not be able to function through every task.
This patient may find it hard to sleep, go to the restroom, change clothes etc., however, occupational therapists come up with solutions to help such patients.
What is Environmental Modification?
Patients who have a certain disability may find it hard to function through everyday tasks and occupational therapists make this easier for them.
Although therapists mainly provide tools to help patients be independent in their tasks, their treatment largely includes customizing the living environment of the patient.
Changing the living environment of a patient is also known as a home modification. Home modification is basically intended to provide patients a more feasible living set up that aids them in their daily tasks.
A large part of the occupational therapy procedure is independence and safety. Occupational therapists recommend changes in the home of patients.
These changes include a number of tools and aids such as hardware controls, high tech equipment, and other furnishings.
Why is it Needed?
Home modification helps clients perform daily tasks with productivity and independence. Safety is the most important factor that is the motivation to set up modifications.
Patients with certain disabilities may tend to fall or injure themselves because of the disability or due to some effect imparted by the disability.
Tasks such as bathing, cleaning, changing and self-care etc. are daily living activities, whereas the other category is instrumental activities.
These include domestic chores, cooking food and preparing meals and doing laundry etc.
Other recreational activities include playing board games, working out or going for a walk etc.
All these activities can be carried out despite a disability because occupational therapists can recommend tools to aid patients through them.
How do they make Environmental Modifications?
Occupational therapists initiate their work by understanding the situation of a patient and what kind of disability they have.
Next, they realize what is the effect of the disability on their normal life. This includes figuring what kind of activities are hindered due to the disability.
Once this has been realized, the occupational therapist can work on modifying the environment of the patient so as to make those tasks easier for the patient.
A large part of this activity is to fully analyze the living environment of the patient. An occupational therapist visits the patient’s home to collect information on what kind of modifications can be made.
After this step, they implement the modifications. Most tools are universally adjustable and only need assembling.
Simple handles are usually needed in most profusion around the house to help patients avoid falls.