Monday, November 5, 2018

Occupational therapy


Occupational therapy provides support to people whose health prevents them doing the activities that matter to them.

An occupational therapist can identify strengths and difficulties you may have in everyday life, such as dressing or getting to the shops, and will help you work out practical solutions.

They can work with you to identify goals that can help you maintain, regain, or improve your independence by using different techniques, changing your environment, and using new equipment.
Who can benefit from occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is used when someone is having difficulty with everyday tasks. This could be because they have a:
  • medical condition – for example, rheumatoid arthritis
  • learning disability
  • mental health condition – for example, bipolar disorder

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages and can look at all aspects of daily life, from the home to the school or workplace.

Read more about when occupational therapy is used.
Occupational therapy techniques

After identifying the difficulties a person has with everyday tasks, occupational therapists can help by either:
  • practising the activity in manageable stages
  • teaching a different way to complete the activity
  • recommending changes that will make the activity easier
  • providing devices that make activities easier

For example, after a hip replacement, someone may find it difficult to get in and out of the bath. Grab rails could be fitted in the bathroom to make this easier.

Someone with rheumatoid arthritis – a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints – may find it hard to lift small objects. Special equipment, such as a wide-handled vegetable peeler, may be made available to make tasks easier.

The aim of these changes is to allow you to maintain and improve your ability to do everyday tasks. This can include both work and leisure activities.

How is it accessed?

Ask your GP, nurse, or another health or social care professional for a referral to see an occupational therapist.

You can also go through your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) or local authority social services department.

If you do not want to go through the NHS or local authority, you can contact an occupational therapist directly.

The professional body for occupational therapists working in a wide range of areas in the UK is the Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT).

If you decide to see a private occupational therapist, make sure they are fully qualified and a member of a recognised body. You can see if your occupational therapist is registered by checking the HCPC online register.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), has published several helpful patient information leaflets that explain how their work can help.

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