What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home, work, and everywhere else. It’s about being able to do what you want and have to do. That could mean helping you overcome challenges learning at school, going to work, playing sports or simply doing the dishes. Everything is focused on increasing independence and wellbeing.
What does an occupational therapist do?
An occupational therapist helps people of all ages overcome challenges completing everyday tasks or activities – what we call ‘occupations.’
Occupational therapists see beyond diagnoses and limitations to hopes and aspirations. They look at relationships between your daily activities, your occupations, the challenges you face and your environment.
Then, they create a plan of goals and adjustments to achieve a specific set of activities. The plan is practical, realistic and personal to you as an individual to help you achieve the breakthroughs you need to elevate your everyday life.
This support can give people a renewed sense of purpose. It can also open up new opportunities and change how people feel about the future.
Who do occupational therapists work with?
Occupational therapists work with adults and children of all ages with a wide range of conditions.
They help those with mental health conditions or physical or learning disabilities. And you’ll find them assisting people in living their best life in health organizations, social care services, housing, education and voluntary organizations.
Many occupational therapists practice independently too and work with members of the public, asylum seekers and refugees, alongside the police or fire services, or with psychiatric services.
Specific services provided by occupational therapists:
Autism spectrum disorder: Individuals with autism can benefit from a sensory assessment by an occupational therapist.
Intellectual disability: Occupational therapists help people with intellectual disability to enjoy life, work and leisure activities as independently as possible. These activities range from things around the home, like cooking, or using public transport so they can make the most of their community’s facilities. The goal might be to support people into voluntary work or employment or help with parenting skills. Occupational therapists often look to include other family members and support workers in their approach, too – so everyone understands the needs of the individual.
People with physical disabilities and long-term conditions: Occupational therapists help people with physical disabilities and long-term conditions to get the most out of life. The emphasis is on finding an optimal level, whatever the barrier. That often means looking at how an activity, or the physical or social environment it takes place in, can be modified or adapted to make things easier. Just as importantly, the therapist will discuss how someone feels about their ability to tackle problems.
People with mental health conditions: The aim could be to improve self-care, from rebuilding a morning route to regular walks or learning to cook healthy meals. It could be about managing finances better by developing a budget. Or the focus might be building confidence to go out again, talk with neighbours or join a local group. Occupational therapists also look at helping people develop professional skills, so they can apply for work and build careers.
Please contact Manor Clinic to discuss services offered by our occupational therapist.