Disability is more common than you think — in fact, 61 million adults in the U.S. have some type of disability. There are many kinds of functional disabilities that can affect a person’s lifestyle. Mobility disability is the most common type of disability, and usually affect’s a person’s ability to move around. Meanwhile, cognitive disability will likely mean that the person has a hard time concentrating, remembering, or making decisions. This could also be a serious condition like dementia.
Fortunately, those with a disability’ can often rely on their family to help them in their everyday lives. And aside from family members, many people also make it a career to help improve the lives of those with disabilities. Below are some of these professionals:
Occupational therapists (OTs) help people improve their ability to perform everyday tasks, from household chores to hobbies. These professionals work on adapting a patient’s environment to better suit their condition and daily habits. To do this, an OT will evaluate their patient’s abilities and goals before developing a treatment plan. This includes asking them questions about their routines. For instance, they may recommend using a wheelchair for someone with a mobility disability and guide them on how to use it. They may suggest a few changes in a patient’s house, such as asking the family to adjust the furniture by making everything easily reachable.
Physical therapy clinic managers
You’re likely familiar with physical therapists, which help patients improve body movement and reduce physical pain through physical exercises. A physical therapy clinic manager is an experienced physical therapist who handles operations, personnel, and technology decisions. They’re in charge of hiring and training new and existing staff, as well as being able to provide technical direction in certain patient cases. They can even be hands on, seeing and evaluating patients, and providing rehabilitative care themselves. Physical therapy clinic managers interact with staff and patients alike to ensure that the patients get the care they need. They will be able to provide an overall care plan for a person with disability, as well as recommend to them any further treatment.
Psychologists, in general, study and assess a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior. A clinical psychologist diagnoses and treats a person with psychological disabilities — such as PTSD, schizophrenia, and delusional disorders. They typically don’t prescribe medication. Instead, they use psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalytic therapy. Though they’re trained in different treatment techniques, they can also specialize in treating certain disorders or working with a certain demographic.
Vision disability can range from blurry vision to blindness. Blurry vision can typically be fixed with the help of optometrists. But for more serious eye conditions like cataracts that will need surgery, you’ll need to consult with an ophthalmologist. They offer the same services as optometrists, but they can also treat all eye conditions, being licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Ophthalmologists can also have subspecialties. A cornea specialist, for instance, can treat corneal eye conditions like keratoconus. This condition is a progressive disease that distorts sight and can even cause permanent vision loss. But it can be treated with corneal transplant surgery to improve a person’s vision.
A person with a disability should always have the support they need. The above professionals are able to improve their standard of living so they can have a full and fulfilling life.
Written by guest publisher Rhea Jimena