Occupational therapy equipment is used to assist people with disabilities, or other special needs, with the daily tasks of living, and is used in all age groups from children to the elderly. Each therapeutic tool is designed to make life easier for the person who uses it, and occupational therapists will be able to design programs for each individual patient. Because there are different reasons one might require occupational therapy, there are many different types of occupational therapy equipment.
A physical disability may be temporary, such as while the patient is recovering from surgery, illness, or a traumatic injury, or it may be permanent. In either case, there is occupational therapy equipment to foster independence, and allow the patient to live as normal of a life as possible. The types of equipment used in these cases might include tools to assist with bathing, getting dressed, putting on shoes, grooming oneself, or extension tools to assist with grabbing items around the house. There are also tools to assist with working in the kitchen and preparing foods, including modified dining utensils. Tools to assist with mobility, such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs, are other types of occupational therapy equipment used when physical disabilities are present.
Some types of occupational therapy equipment might assist people with mental or emotional challenges, such as learning to interact successfully with others, express themselves effectively, manage emotions, or even learn how to maintain a household budget or perform tasks such as grocery shopping. The type of occupational therapy equipment used here might be board games, electronic devices, or other types of stimulating activities designed for each patient's specific needs.
The equipment may be designed for other uses as well, such as to improve visual perception, thinking and reasoning skills, concentration, and sensory processing skills, among others. Role playing techniques are frequently used, to give the patient real world experience and techniques to use in various challenging situations. Occupational therapy may be able to assist people when returning to work or school as well.
Keep in mind that occupational therapy and physical therapy are two different things, and may be done simultaneously or separately from each other. It may be possible that a patient may only need occupational therapy, and not physical therapy. Physical therapy is designed to build up strength, reduce pain, improve gross motor skills, and increase endurance. Occupational therapy focuses on the daily business of living, and the ways in which the patient will need to occupy his or her time.