Occupational Therapy

Let’s face it, none of us want to consider the possibility we could someday have trouble performing basic tasks, such as taking a shower or buttoning a shirt. But when an illness or injury strikes, it can cause lingering physical or mental problems that impact our ability to work, drive or care for ourselves.

If you or a loved one needs help developing and maintaining daily living skills, you’ll find the care and support you need at Beacon Health System. We offer inpatient and outpatient occupational therapy services to children and adults at several locations in Elkhart and greater South Bend.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a type of rehabilitation that helps people function better in their home or work environments. It’s performed by licensed professionals called occupational therapists.

Adults who need occupational therapy often have experienced a loss of motor, sensory or cognitive skills following an illness or injury. Children may need occupational therapy if they were born with, or develop, a physical or mental disability or a medical condition.

Occupational therapists help patients strengthen or improve existing skills, and find new ways to compensate for temporary or permanent loss of function. Some of the ways they can help you include:

  • Prescribing exercises and activities that improve your strength, dexterity, range of motion, endurance, hand-eye coordination, sensory processing and reasoning
  • Recommending assistive devices such as dressing aids and bathing equipment
  • Recommending ways to modify daily tasks or your environment  (e.g., placing frequently-used kitchen items on a shelf that is within reach, or buying pre-cut vegetables)
  • Conducting wheelchair evaluations to ensure proper functionality and comfort
  • As needed, conducting functional capacity evaluations to assess your ability to safely perform and tolerate assigned activities in your work environment

Who Can Benefit From Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists treat people of all ages who were born with, or acquired, a variety of illnesses or injuries, including:

  • Stroke or other neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain or spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic orthopedic injuries, including those that result in amputation
  • Developmental disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Recovery from joint replacement surgery

No matter what your diagnosis, our goal is to help you overcome limitations so you can more easily perform activities of daily living – and achieve greater independence.

Our Services

Beacon Health System offers the full spectrum of occupational therapy services described above, in hospitals, outpatient clinics and home or work environments. We also offer several specialty programs led by occupational therapists with advanced education or training, including:

Certified driver rehabilitation

This program is for people whose driving abilities have been affected by a neurological condition or normal aging. Beacon offers driving safety assessments using a virtual driving simulator, as well as a blend of therapies to help patients recover their abilities and legally return to driving.

Certified hand therapy

This therapy is for people who have lost strength and function in their hand, wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder. Impairments are usually caused by an injury, surgery or a medical condition (including stroke, Parkinson’s disease or carpal tunnel syndrome).

Vision therapy

This therapy is for people whose vision problems are caused by a brain injury, advanced age, stroke or other neurological condition. Their problems cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses alone. During vision therapy sessions, occupational therapists use tools and exercises that improve the brain’s ability to control eye alignment, eye movements, focusing abilities and “binocular vision” (both eyes working together to produce a single image).

Our occupational therapists also are integral to the following Beacon rehabilitation programs, designed for patients who require multiple kinds of therapy at one time:

Acute inpatient rehabilitation units

Inpatient therapy is located inside Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend. The units are reserved for patients who have severe injuries or paralysis following a traumatic accident or side effects from a stroke or other neurological condition. Patients who are admitted to one of these elite units, receive around-the-clock rehabilitation care until they’ve regained enough skills and abilities to transition from the hospital to their homes.

Day treatment program

Day treatment serves patients who are recovering from traumatic brain injury, stroke or other neurological disorders. The program is designed to treat patients who still need intensive rehabilitation following their discharge from the hospital, but are able to return to their homes each night.


Memorial Outpatient Therapy Services


111 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 100
South Bend IN, 46601

Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed