Occupational therapy enables people of all ages live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
   It is a practice deeply rooted in science and is evidence-based, meaning that the plan designed for each individual is supported by data, experience, and “best practices” that have been developed and proven over time.
   Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants focus on “doing” whatever occupations or activities are meaningful to the individual.
   “It is occupational therapy’s purpose to get beyond problems to the solutions that assure living life to its fullest.,” Krista Keiper OTR/L tells The Independent-Observer.
   These solutions may be adaptations for how to do a task, changes to the surroundings, or helping individuals to alter their own behaviors.
   When working with an occupational therapy practitioner, strategies and modifications are customized for each individual to resolve problems, improve function, and support everyday living activities.
   Their goal is to maximize the potential of the individual they are treating.
   “Through these therapeutic approaches, occupational therapy helps individuals design their lives, develop needed skills, adjust their environments (such as home, school, or work) and build health-promoting habits and routines that will allow them to thrive,” says  Keiper.

   By taking the full picture into account—a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup as well as their environment—occupational therapy assists clients to do the following:
   Achieve goals; Function at the highest possible level; Concentrate on what matters most to them; Maintain or rebuild their independence; and Participate in daily activities that they need or want to do.
   Occupational therapy addresses issues relating to diagnoses such as:
   Carpal tunnel syndrome/Hand injuries; CVA/stroke; Upper body weakness/injury; Hip replacement and bone fractures;  and Arthritis/Fibromyalgia
   There are also preventative issues, such as ergonomics and work modification that may also be addressed by OT. 
Home assessments can improve safety and prolong the ability to stay in one’s own home.
   The Pondera Medical Center has offered Occupational Therapy for over 25 years.
   If you are interested in services please call Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m, for an appointment.
   Please call Keiper or Bonnie Hjelm at 271-2249 with any questions or for more information.