After a serious injury, illness or surgery, you may recover slowly. You may need to regain your strength, relearn skills or find new ways of doing things you did before. This process is rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation often focuses on:
- Physical therapy to help your strength, mobility and fitness
- Occupational therapy to help you with your daily activities
- Speech-language therapy to help with speaking, understanding, reading, writing and swallowing
- Treatment of pain
The type of therapy and goals of therapy may be different for different people. For example, an older person who has had a stroke may simply want to dress or bathe without help. A younger person who has had a heart attack may go through cardiac rehabilitation to try to return to work and normal activities.
The role of occupational therapists in the workplace is to facilitate individuals’ ability to return to work. Occupational therapists assist their clients in reaching their maximum level of function with the aim of meeting the physical and emotional demands of their job. Occupational therapists are also qualified to make recommendations to employers on how to downgrade job demands to meet the functional status of an employee in order to prevent further injury during occupational rehabilitation.