Life-altering conditions such as a stroke, spinal cord injury, or loss of a limb can significantly impact a person's ability to perform simple daily tasks like dressing, bathing, or preparing a meal. Occupational therapists work with individuals to devise a comprehensive treatment program that will enable them to regain their independence in daily tasks, successfully manage their homes, and participate fully in leisure and community activities.
At the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, our outpatient Occupational Therapy Department offers a number of specialized services to help individuals return to their life roles and improve their quality of life at home and in the community. Our highly skilled staff uses trained observation and standardized testing to evaluate how the patient’s condition is affecting their ability to perform a variety of daily functions. This evaluation, along with the expressed goals of the patient and his or her caregiver, is then used to identify areas that need improvement. Treatments are then directed toward developing, improving, or restoring skills in these areas, which may include:
- performing daily activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, personal grooming and hygiene
- home management—including preparing meals, handling household chores and caring for children
- work readiness
- leisure activities
- educational performance
In addition, the therapist will develop specific problem-solving strategies to help ensure the patient’s independence in day-to-day activities. Depending on the patient’s needs, these may include modifying the patient’s environment, training the patient in the use of assistive devices and equipment such as orthotics (splints) to improve functional performance, and helping the patient manage his or her energy. Attention is also given to improving and restoring sensory-motor and neuromuscular functioning as well as visual and cognitive-perceptual components of performance.
All of Rusk’s occupational therapists are trained as experts in their individual program areas, and receive advanced certifications in these areas when appropriate and available.
Specialized Occupational Therapy Services
Rusk’s Occupational Therapy program also offers the following specialized services, designed to address specific therapeutic or environmental needs. Depending on the program, it may be implemented directly by the occupational therapist or in conjunction with specialists from other areas.
- Functional Upper Extremity Training
- Assistive Technology Program
- Seating and Mobility Program
- Vision Therapy Program
- Driver Rehabilitation
- Hand Therapy
- Augmented soft-tissue manipulation
- Barrier-Free Design
- Pediatric Occupational Therapy
- Occupational Therapy Services for Parkinson’s
- Occupational Therapy Services for Stroke
Referrals. A physician referral is required for an appointment to any of these specialty programs. For your and your physician's convenience, please see our Occupational Therapy referral form, or call (212) 263-6033 with any registration questions.