Health conditions, injuries or aging can affect your ability to do everyday tasks and activities. When you’re facing challenges that keep you from your daily routine, our occupational therapists can help you stay active.
Occupational therapy includes exercises and strategies designed to help you perform everyday activities. At Overlake Medical Center & Clinics, our skilled occupational therapists are dedicated to enhancing your abilities in activities of daily living. The goal is to improve your skills in essential job functions, household tasks, and school, leisure and social pursuits.
Whether you are recovering from an injury or surgery or managing an ongoing health condition, our team can help you regain function. Our licensed occupational therapists stay up-to-date with specialized training so you receive the latest, evidence-based treatments.
Our occupational therapists provide assessment, instruction and training, all tailored to your individual needs. We work closely with you to develop treatment goals that maximize your independence and quality of life. Our specialty therapies include upper extremity and hand therapy, neurological rehabilitation, home safety and driver safety screening.
We work with your health care providers to coordinate your care and keep them updated on your progress. You can find our occupational therapists at our Bellevue Rehabilitation Services clinic.
What We Treat
Our occupational therapists are experienced in working with adults of all ages with functional loss caused by a wide range of issues, such as:
- Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
- Muscle problems in the hands and wrists such as strains and sprains
- Joint or bone issues caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Neurological (brain, spinal cord and nerve) conditions and injuries such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, stroke and traumatic brain injury
- Pain related to postural or ergonomic challenges
Occupational Therapy Treatments
We have extensive training and skills in a variety of services and therapies, including:
- Caregiver education and training for family and friends
- Driving safety evaluations (in the clinic, not on the road)
- Evaluations to identify challenges with self-care tasks such as grooming, dressing and bathing
- Exercise training to build upper extremity and hand function
- Home safety and accessibility assessment to recommend home modifications or equipment
- LSVT BIG® for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological movement disorders, in coordination with physical therapy for enhanced function and mobility
- Recommendations for assistive devices and adaptive equipment, such as shower chairs, specially designed utensils, button hooks, walkers and wheelchairs
- Re-training in key activities of daily living such as homemaking, money management, medication management and adaptive techniques
- Strategies to improve your performance with self-care, household management, work, school and leisure activities
- Suggestions for community resources
What to Expect
Our occupational therapists can help you prevent disability and modify or remove environmental barriers that are keeping you from your daily activities. Here’s what you can expect when you come to Overlake for occupational therapy.
During Occupational Therapy
We begin by asking you about your personal and family medical history and reviewing your referring provider’s orders. Our therapists tailor the evaluation based on your individual needs, and we typically:
- Ask you about your daily activities and any difficulties you’re experiencing with them
- Assess your current abilities in self-care, home management and leisure activities to identify areas of difficulty
- Assess any joint-related concerns in your hands, wrists or elbows
- Discuss your goals for occupational therapy
- Visit your home, school or workplace, if necessary, to evaluate them for ways to improve
Once we’ve completed our assessment and evaluation, we work closely with you to develop a treatment plan. We will:
- Use education, exercise and manual therapy to improve function in your hands and arms
- Provide you with adaptive strategies and self-management techniques for maximizing your independence
- Suggest changes or help you develop new skills
After Occupational Therapy
Our therapists typically assess your progress after a few weeks or months. We may adjust your treatment plan as necessary to help you achieve your goals.
What questions should I ask my provider about occupational therapy?
If you’re considering occupational therapy, you may want to ask the therapist questions such as:
- Do you have training and experience in my condition?
- Does health insurance cover your services?
- Are there other treatment options for my condition?
- How should I prepare for my appointment?
What’s the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?
Occupational therapy focuses on improving your ability to perform activities of daily living, and physical therapy focuses on improving your ability to move your body.
Occupational therapy helps people:
- Learn easier or less painful ways to perform everyday activities
- Improve fine motor skills, which are small movements usually done with the upper body, such as buttoning a shirt
Physical therapy helps people:
- Manage pain
- Increase range of motion, strength, balance and coordination
- Develop or regain gross motor skills, which involve whole-body movements using large muscles in the arms and legs