Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a science degree-based, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). An Occupational Therapist is dual trained in mental and physical health and is therefore able to carry out a holistic assessment of your needs. Occupational Therapy can enable you to achieve health, wellbeing and life satisfaction through participation in occupation.

‘Occupation’ is often associated with paid employment however; it also refers to any activity in which you engage. Washing, dressing, toileting, reading, shopping, walking, swimming paid/unpaid employment, meeting up with friends, cooking and cleaning; they are all occupations. An Occupational Therapist can help you to identify the barriers that make it difficult or even stop you from carrying out any of these activities. Barriers may include; low mood, anxiety, reduced functional use of your arms and/or legs, memory, fatigue, and/or the physical environment. An Occupational Therapist can then work with you to overcome and/or reduce these difficulties to improve your life satisfaction by using rehabilitative and/or compensatory techniques. Examples include:

  • Cognitive/perceptual assessment and rehabilitation.
  • Advice regarding specialist equipment for example; seating, wheelchairs, beds, kitchen aids, toilet aids and minor adaptations.
  • Moving and handling advice.
  • Functional rehabilitation (involves using activities which you enjoy and/or need to do, to help improve some of the following; strength, stamina, balance, fine dexterity, attention/concentration and overall independence).
  • Exercise program.
  • Advice and support returning to work.
  • Liaising with your G.P. regarding onward referrals to appropriate services.

Initial Assessment

An initial assessment involves a comprehensive assessment of your physical, psychological, social and environmental needs. The initial assessment could be carried out in your home environment or at the clinic*. You will be asked about your general health including both your physical and mental health. Information regarding your past medical history and medication will need to be provided. Your Occupational Therapist may ask questions regarding your activities of daily living including personal care, leisure/hobbies, employment and domestic tasks. After this you will be asked about the activities that you find difficult and what you think are the barriers to being able to do these activities. Information may be required regarding your home environment to establish whether or not any aids and/or adaptations will support your independence. There may be a physical examination dependent on if physical difficulties are highlighted as an issue during the initial assessment, and there may also be a psychological screen if appropriate.

Follow Up Session

Further sessions with your Occupational Therapist could be either at home*, in the community or at the clinic dependent on your needs and therapeutic goals. This may be in the form of exercise therapy, cognitive assessment and rehabilitation, functional rehabilitation, advice regarding aids and adaptations and/or, moving and handling advice.

*Occupational Therapy home visits are currently only available in Retford

Conditions Treated

Emma currently works with people that have been diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions (this list is not exhaustive as she works with many more conditions):

  • Neurological Conditions (inc. Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, Dementia, Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Falls
  • Cancer
  • Hip Fractures/Replacements
  • Reduced Upper and Lower Limb Function

What My Occupational Therapy Intervention May Involve

Occupational Therapy aims to use ‘occupation’ to enable you to live a fulfilling and independent life.

 

Intervention may include:

  • Functional Rehabilitation (inc. facilitation to participate in activities)
  • Spasticity Management
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation
  • Moving and Handling assessment and advice
  • Education of Family and Carers
  • Advice regarding specialised equipment (inc. seating and beds)
  • Advice regarding minor adaptations to your property
  • Cognitive/Behavioural Approaches to Rehabilitation
  •  Exercise Program including Pilates