What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is based on health and social care principles which are applied to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling seriously injured individuals to achieve their full potential.
“Occupational” in this sense does not refer to someone’s job, but rather a regular activity or hobby.
People with severe physical and/or psychological injuries often encounter problems that prevent them from carrying out their day to day activities. Occupational therapy helps to overcome barriers and increase an individual’s independence, whether that relates to care, support, work or leisure activities.
Occupational therapists, who are qualified practitioners regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, will consider an individual’s physical, psychological, social and environmental needs in attempting to find practical solutions to everyday problems.
Occupational therapists often work with the injured person, their family and other professionals such as medical and psychological treatment providers, care workers, nurses, social workers, solicitors, architects and equipment suppliers in providing a holistic approach to rehabilitation in a variety of settings, such as in hospital, at home or in a specialist rehabilitation centre.
The scope of practise is wide ranging so occupational therapists tend to specialise in particular areas, for example assisting a return to work, making adaptations to the home or work environment, wheelchair and seating assessments and provision of equipment and assistive technology.
The focus is on the individual and maximising potential for independence in activities of daily living (for example cooking, home making, child care, dressing, eating, bathing, leisure activities, etc) and developing cognitive strategies for people with particular injuries or conditions, for example memory loss, chronic pain and mental health problems.
Through appropriate realistic and appropriate goal setting, an injured person can be helped to live as independent a life as possible.
We are able to identify circumstances where an injured person might benefit from occupational therapy. There are many occupational therapists available and we can help identify the most appropriate and arrange an early assessment as part of the rehabilitation process.
For more information go to the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists website.