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Occupational therapists help patients who need assistance lead more independent lives. They specialize in adapting tasks or the environment to make patients capable of functioning on their own. Long term care occupational therapists specialize in providing occupational therapy to patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from caring for themselves.
Although long term care is needed by people of all ages, it is most commonly used by senior citizens. As such, many long term care occupational therapy jobs are found in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, long term care occupational therapists may also work in hospitals, schools or rehabilitation centers.
Long term care occupational therapy jobs provide many patients with ways to live an autonomous life. In many instances, they train patients who need significant help to adapt to their surroundings. They frequently prescribe special equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers and home modifications to make patients’ lives more independent. In some cases, smaller changes are needed, and the occupational therapist may recommend raised toilet seats, bathtub benches or long shoe horns. Whether a patient has moderate or severe disabilities, the occupational therapist attempts to make his life easier.