The global COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone. Occupational therapy during the pandemic is significant in its impact. Occupational therapy services are vital for client care in many settings. Furthermore, delays in rehabilitation have led to worsening symptoms and adverse events for clients. Due to the restrictions, many occupational therapists have switched to telehealth practice while continuing to serve a diverse population.
The Role of Occupational Therapy During the Pandemic
What is the role of occupational therapy during the pandemic? Occupational therapy helps by:
- Reducing the odds of hospitalization or readmission
- Decreasing the probability of contractures and joint deformities
- Improving your resistance to infection using movement and immunity-enhancing activities
- Combatting your mood disruptions that arise due to your social isolation
- Addressing your occupational deprivation and establishing useful habits, roles, and routines
- Promoting participation in education, play, and learning activities in a variety of settings (home, work, or school)
- Increasing your independence in performing daily life skills, thereby reducing your reliance on caregivers
Healthcare professionals are on the frontlines of our battle against COVID-19. Let’s consider a few of the other ways that occupational therapists can help you during this time.
Perform Activity Analysis
An occupational therapist will focus on helping clients perform certain tasks successfully by breaking them down into manageable steps. During the age of COVID-19, you have to complete certain health and safety activities like frequent hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces, and taking the right precautions.
Before, we would overlook hand-washing – that’s fairly routine for everyone, right? However, during this pandemic, that has all changed. Now we have many videos that depict health professionals illustrating how you should wash your hands thoroughly.
Occupational therapists are unique in their ability to observe and analyze how you perform a task and make recommendations about how to best complete that task. They can help you fully adapt even as changes occur. They create useful skill activity analysis materials (like videos) to ensure that you remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Promote an Evidence-Based Practice
Social media and television are some of the main ways that we get vital information about COVID-19. However, you need to check that the information provided is reliable and accurate.
Furthermore, your occupational therapist is trained in searching for the most compelling evidence about their field and your health requirements. Therefore, remain connected with your occupational therapist so that you can get the right info to improve and/or maintain your health.
Some examples of sources for reliable information during this pandemic include:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Peer-reviewed articles
Support Mental Health and Self-Care
COVID-19 has brought a multitude of regional and state-wide restrictions, travel bans, and closed businesses. In such an atmosphere, your attention to your mental health may suffer.
The good news is that organizations like The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provide info on how you can get support during this pandemic. Occupational therapists are also equipped to give you this valuable information as well.
Invest in your best mental health and take care of yourself. You can try invigorating activities like completing online exercise sessions or taking a walk outside. Do all that you can to think, feel, and live much better.
Facilitate Social and Leisure Activities
Occupational therapists are experts at adapting activities – including the social and leisure ones. We all want to be close to loved ones and friends so it can be hard to maintain social distancing recommendations.
Your occupational therapist will help you to figure out how to use technology to help you to stay connected with the people you love. So instead of your usual lunch meetings, how about doing a video call while eating lunch in your respective homes? What about cooking together via Zoom? There are many ways to remain close to your relatives and friends.
Most of us now work from home. If you normally work from home, then this is a non-issue. However, if you’ve never worked from home before, then there is a learning curve that you’ll need to contend with.
Your workspace is very important when you are working from home. We advise that you resist the temptation to work from your bed or couch! You need to use a chair that promotes the correct alignment of your spine while optimizing your posture.
Occupational therapists provide the info you need about how to prevent injuries like back and neck pain or carpal tunnel syndrome. They also give you key strategies to support your best health as you work from home or participate in distance learning.
Health Promotion and Education
Occupational therapy focuses on promoting health and wellness across all age groups. These include healthy habits and routines, and in the Coronavirus era, encourage the anti-spread best practices.
These healthcare professionals empower others to understand what’s happening and help keep vulnerable populations safe. Occupational therapists support reliable and trustworthy information transmission both within the medical industry and in the wider society.
Communicating With Children
The pandemic and its accompanying social distancing recommendations can be hard to explain to children. They have experienced the closures of their schools, limited to no contact with their friends, and in some cases, family members.
Occupational therapists (especially those in pediatrics) grasp the importance of communicating with children and giving them vital information and coping mechanisms. We recommend that you get creative in the process.
You can use social stories, participate in engaging handouts or activities, and picture schedules for young children and those with social and sensory challenges. Occupational therapists can assist parents and guardians to inform their children and make sure that they are still learning and maintaining their daily schedules.
How Do I Find a Rehabilitation Program for Occupational Therapy During COVID-19?
Getting occupational therapy during the pandemic is very important. You need your regular therapy sessions so that you can maintain and improve your health and wellness gains. Need a CDC-compliant healthcare facility? Then look no further: Moving With Hope in Shelton, CT is your answer!
We have expert occupational therapists who provide excellent care to each of our valued clients. Furthermore, we’ll work with your existing medical team to create an effective treatment plan to satisfy your health needs. So please feel free to contact us today to get started on the path to your best health and wellness goals.