What is an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational therapy is a science degree-based, health and social care profession. Occupational therapy takes a whole-person approach to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential. Occupational Therapy focuses on therapy through meaningful tasks within a relevant environment so often understanding your daily roles and routines and what is important to you is important for successful treatment.
What happens in Occupational Therapy?
An Occupational Therapist will firstly conduct an assessment of a person as a whole; taking into account physical and mental factors that are affecting a person’s ability to function. This involves a conversation discussing history of the issue, daily routines, current difficulties and what a person wants to achieve from therapy. An Occupational Therapist will also look at your physical function and your ability to manage daily activities including getting around your property, managing personal care and domestic tasks. The therapist will then work with you to develop meaningful goals and devise a plan as to how these can be achieved. This may involve specific exercise, modifying and practicing certain daily tasks and working with the therapist to overcome barriers to independent living.
Who would need Occupational Therapy?
Anyone who has had a change in their life as a result of illness, injury or ageing and can no longer function independently can benefit from Occupational Therapy. Those who as a result of these factors can now no longer live their lives as they would like would benefit from Occupational Therapy intervention to work on improving and maximizing independence. Family members/carers of those in this situation can also benefit in clarifying tools and techniques to minimize family dependence.
How long will I need to see an Occupational Therapist?
This is very dependent upon the nature of illness/injury or problem area. Occupational Therapy is about promoting independence so it is vital that as a patient you are committed to working towards your goal outside of therapy sessions. The therapist may assign you tasks and activities to complete in between visits and so your motivation to do these is vital in progression and regaining independence.