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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Occupational Therapy Treatment

Our physical therapists will develop a treatment plan based upon the results of the assessment and a discussion of your personal goals.

Participating in Self-Care

Occupational therapists assess your ability to perform self-care activities of daily living such as self-feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting.

They may teach you how to use adaptive techniques or equipment that will help you maximize your independence with these activities. Occupational therapists may also educate you in techniques to incorporate body mechanics into daily activities to prevent injury or to regain function.

Role Participation & Community Reintegration

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Assessment

Occupational therapists evaluate your potential to return to your community and to complete tasks such as grocery shopping, managing finances and completing household chores.

Cognitive, Sensory & Visual-Perceptual Evaluation & Training

Occupational therapists evaluate your cognition, sensation and visual-perceptual skills with formalized assessments. They also observe you performing daily routines.

Treatment is focused on developing cognitive skills to improve your attention, memory and problem solving, as well as educating you about strategies that will help you compensate for any sensory impairment.

Occupational therapists will also provide you with exercises and compensatory techniques for any visual-perceptual deficits.

Home Safety Assessment

Occupational therapists are able to perform home safety assessments to assist in transitioning back home. You may be asked detailed questions about your home environment, such as bathroom or kitchen set up.

The occupational therapist may simulate your home environment and have you complete safety tasks to identify concerns. This information will help the occupational therapist determine whether safety concerns are present and enable them to make recommendations to increase your safety at home.

Your occupational therapist may also provide recommendations and education to your caregivers and family members about how to safely assist you at home.

Management of the Upper Extremity

Treatment of your arms is often necessary following hand surgery, trauma or neurological impairment that has resulted in decreased strength, coordination, range of motion or swelling.

Occupational therapists will perform therapeutic activities and educate you about appropriate positioning and home exercise programs that will help you increase your strength, coordination and range of motion.

Physicians may request that occupational therapists construct custom splints for various joints.

Splinting & Bracing

A splint is an orthopedic device that is used to immobilize or support a part of the body. Occupational therapists or physicians may recommend a splint to help manage an injury or decrease pain. If a splint is recommended for one of your extremities, an occupational therapist will create a custom splint for you.

Splints are used for the following purposes:

  • To immobilize or restrict movement to prevent further deformity, or to allow joints to rest
  • To stretch soft tissue
  • To mobilize joints to substitute for loss of motor function
  • To assist in aligning fractures 
  • To promote healing

Following surgery or after a traumatic event, you may require a brace that will provide support to your body. Your occupational therapist will instruct you about the wearing schedule, how to put the brace on and take it off, and how to care for your brace.

Last UpdateJune 24, 2011