520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

 (208) 263-1441

Occupational Therapy Month

Helping you live your best life.

By: Kristin Carlson, Marketing Specialist, Bonner General Health

In April, we recognize the care and skill of Occupational Therapists. With approximately 213,000 occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, educators, and students in the U.S., Occupational therapy practitioners assist people of all ages in completing day-to-day activities and tasks inhibited by injury, illness, or disability.

Some conditions that may benefit from occupational therapy in adults include arthritis and brain injury, including concussion management, dementia, Alzheimer’s, carpal tunnel, Parkinson’s Disease, and stroke. Occupational Therapy can assist with Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Autism, cerebral palsy, and Down’s Syndrome for children.

I sat down with Bonner General Health Occupational Therapist, Beth Wise, MOT, OTR/L, CHT, to talk about O.T. services:

Why did you pursue a career in Occupational Therapy?

I was interested in rehabilitation after various types of injuries. O.T. is a vast field, which I found exciting. I can work with someone with a spinal cord injury on how to eat and get dressed. In my next session, work on tendon repairs in someone’s hand and bring them back to work. My days are exciting. I enjoy complex problems, considering the person’s big picture and goals, and progressing someone’s independence and ability to participate in preferred activities.

What are some of the less apparent services our O.T. department provides?

Many community members struggle with thumb arthritis and trigger fingers. We provide treatment options to improve pain and function. It just takes a referral from any doctor.

Do you have a specialty or an area of O.T. you are most passionate about?

I am very dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of neurological issues (brain injury, concussion, stroke, spinal cord injury). I recently became a certified hand therapist and enjoyed working with people after hand and wrist injuries/surgeries.

Is there anything else you think is important to share about our O.T. services at Bonner General Health?

We also work with people with fatigue and endurance issues from any diagnosis (such as cancer, M.S., lung issues) on being more efficient and independent. I think this is another untapped service we offer.

What you can expect from an Occupational Therapy visit:

  • An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals.
  • A customized plan to improve your ability to perform daily activities and reach your goals.
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure your goals are being met, and if not, adjust the plan to meet those goals.

April is also Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Bonner General Health provides services specific to those living with Parkinson’s Disease. BGH is an affiliate of Rock Steady Boxing. This exercise program enables people with Parkinson’s to fight their disease with a non-contact boxing-style fitness program that improves their quality of life. The LSVT programs involve exercise or speech therapies to improve the effects of Parkinson’s, improving balance, movement, voice amplification, and speech clarity.

For more information on Occupational Therapy Services and programs such as Rock Steady Boxing or LSVT Therapy, visit BonnerGeneral.org or call 208-265-3325.

References: 1) American Occupational Therapy Association, aota.org. 2) Rock Steady Boxing, rocksteadyboxing.org.

This article was written for publication in Sandpoint Living Local Magazine – April 2021.

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