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Physical and Occupational Therapy for Parkinson's Disease

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What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy can help people with Parkinson's disease stay active in daily life. By improving your skills, showing you different ways to complete tasks, or introducing you to handy equipment, an occupational therapist can help you perform everyday activities with greater ease and satisfaction. An occupational therapist may also recommend making changes to your home or workplace to promote your independence.

How Can Occupational Therapy Help Parkinson's Disease?

For Parkinson's disease, occupational therapy generally provides assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Arm and hand therapy
  • Handwriting aids
  • Home modification information
  • Driver evaluation and vehicle modification information
  • Cooking and homemaking adaptations
  • Eating and dinnerware adaptations
  • Ways to make the most of your energy
  • Computer modifications
  • Workplace or work equipment modifications
  • Leisure skill development
  • Manual or electric wheelchair use
  • Bathtub and toilet equipment use
  • Dressing and grooming aids

Where Can I Receive Occupational Therapy?

Many hospitals offer outpatient occupational therapy services. However, you may need to get a doctor's order to be seen in occupational therapy. If you feel you can benefit from occupational therapy, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for a referral.

How Many Occupational Therapy Visits Will I Need?

Occupational therapy sessions vary for each person. The first appointment includes an evaluation and recommendations. The following appointments check your progress and review or expand your program.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on October 11, 2014
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