Occupational therapy: Helping you define your new normal

Did you know April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month? In 2017, OT celebrated 100 years as a profession. Neurorehabilitation is just one example of the important role of occupational therapists.

Stroke, brain injury and other neurological conditions can be life changing. Changes related to these conditions can tremendously impact your life and require that your entire family define a new “normal” way of life.

OT helps you define this new normal by teaching you skills to return to everyday activities at home, work, school or in the community. An occupational therapist can:

  • Address concerns that limit your ability to do necessary daily activities. These concerns include weakness, sensory loss, and cognitive and visual impairments.
  • Train you in self-care and home management. Dressing, bathing, cooking and cleaning are all examples. We also teach you adaptive equipment use and ways to maximize safety and independence in your home.
  • Evaluate your work-related tasks in order to offer suggestions to help you successfully return to work.
  • Help you develop strategies for getting around your community. Overcoming these mobility barriers helps you rebuild your social life and enjoy leisure activities.
  • Teach you healthy lifestyle choices to prevent further complications and maintain your independence.
  • Educate your caregivers so they can provide care and avoid burn-out.

OT provides you with the skills, strategies and confidence to regain your independence.

At Anne Arundel Medical Center, our occupational therapists work as part of a neurorehabilitation team that may include physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists. During your first visit with OT, we work with you to develop a treatment program to meet your specific goals.

For more information about OT, visit AOTA.org.


Heather Keats, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist, specializing in neurorehabilitation, with Anne Arundel Medical Group (AAMG) Physical Therapy. To reach her office, call 443-481-1140.

Originally published April 14, 2017. Last updated April 17, 2019.

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