What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a healthcare profession offering support to people with physical, psychological and social problems to enable them to live life to the fullest. Occupational therapists help people to do the everyday activities that they want to do and need to do when faced with illness, injury, and disability or challenging life events. The key features of Occupational Therapy are:
- We focus primarily on the person's occupation. Occupational therapists use the term ‘occupation’ to describe all the things we do to take care of ourselves and others; socialise and have fun; and work and contribute to our community/society.
- Our occupations are the activities that fill up our days and that give meaning and a sense of purpose to our daily lives. Occupational therapists understand how important these everyday activities are to all of us and are experts in enabling you to live life to the fullest despite challenges, limitations and disability.
- In the case of children the focus will be on enabling participation in childhood occupations such as play and school and supporting development and emerging independence skills.
- Occupational Therapists understand how illness, injury, disability or challenging life events can affect people's ability to do the day-to-day things that are important for them and know how to support them to reach their maximum level of independence and autonomy.
- Occupational Therapists are experts at assessing how different health conditions can affect people's abilities and helping people to overcome or work around the difficulties that are affecting their daily occupations.
- Occupational Therapy focuses on people's strengths and therapy is always guided by the client's preferences (or those of their family in the case of children).
- Occupational Therapy is person centred and helps people to live their lives in a way that is meaningful and satisfying for them by tailoring a programme that responds to their unique situation and needs.
How can an occupational therapy help you?
- By helping you to do the everyday activities that are important in your life including self-care, leisure/play, work/education, social participation, sleep/rest
- By helping you live a fuller, more satisfying and meaningful life despite illness, injury, disability or challenging life events
- By maximising your function, independence and daily participation in your life roles (child, parent, student, friend, worker, volunteer, etc)
- By taking a client-centred approach that focuses on your abilities, goals and priorities
- By advocating for your human rights and access to services
The video below shows the distinct value of Occupational Therapy with people of different ages and different health issues.