Occupational therapy focuses on maximizing performance of everyday activities known as "occupations," that are important to a client. Examples of occupations include self-care, leisure or hobbies, work, education, taking care of the home, parenting, getting out in the community, socializing, or volunteering. Clients, both adults and children, receive occupational therapy because of an illness or condition, or following an injury that is preventing them from fully participating in or enjoying their everyday occupations. In addition, children might also receive services because they present with difficulties in acquiring developmental skills needed to engage in meaningful occupations such as play and schooling.
Occupational therapy looks at the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and sensory aspects of occupational performance. At first, occupational therapists assesses a client's skills, the environment, and how the activities are performed. From this, occupational therapists identify strengths, areas to work on, and modifications to improve performance, and then implement
s the appropriate interventions. Intervention involves the activities themselves, and preparatory training to help a client perform them better. The interventions could be very different depending on the client needs and what they want to accomplish, but the goal is always to support the client to perform their valued activities safely and as independently as possible.
Occupational Therapy services at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System include: