Occupational Therapists assist patients in performing activities of all kinds, ranging from using a computer to caring for daily needs, such as dressing, cooking and eating. Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while paper and pencil games may be chosen to improve visual acuity and the ability to discern patterns. A patient suffering from short-term memory loss, for instance, might be encouraged to make lists to aid recall. One with coordination problems might be given extra tasks to improve hand-eye coordination.
For those with permanent functional disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, Cerebral Palsy, or Muscular Dystrophy, therapists provide such adaptive equipment as wheelchairs, splints, and aids for eating and dressing. They also design or make special equipment needed at home or work. Therapists develop and teach patients to operate computer-aided adaptive equipment.
Occupational Therapists also work with industrial workers. They help modify work sites and evaluate how certain jobs are performed so they can be redesigned to make them safer.