Occupational Therapy Australia describes Occupational therapy as a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement
What do occupational therapists do?
Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of health care and community settings. Here are some examples of the kinds of work that occupational therapists do:
Working with children:
Helping children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Educating and involving parents, carers and others to facilitate the normal development and learning of children.
Support children with ADHD, Autism, intellectual or physical disabilities
Rehabilitation and aged care:
Helping people regain or enhance their daily lives after specific events such as hip replacement or stroke.
Assessing a person’s cognition, function and psychosocial needs
Monitoring a person’s function and progress, prescribing adaptive equipment
Assessing and modifying clients’ home and community environments to improve their safety and independence.
Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function.
Using specialised assessments to determine the functional requirements of various jobs, and clients’ capacity to return to work.
Designing and coordinating graded return to work programs.
Educating clients in safe work practices.
Modifying the work environment to suit the needs of individuals so as to prevent or minimise injuries.
Designing programs and activities to enhance clients’ independence in everyday activities.
Developing coping strategies for clients in overcoming their mental health issues.
Improving clients’ confidence and self esteem in social situations.
How can Occupational Therapy help?
An Occupational Therapist will assess individual needs and develop an individualised program or therapy that can help with things like:
Assessment of functioning in self care, work and social activities
Develop skills to return to work or studies
Improve social skills
Increase participation in leather and recreational activities
Improve productivity and routine
Stress and sleep management
Improve communication and self esteem
What conditions can affect a clients living skills?
Depression is one of the main mental health conditions that can affect a persons living skills and connection with their family and community. The common effects of depression include:
Not going out or avoiding social contact
Not getting things done at home, work or school
Avoidance of family and friends
Poor self care
Lethargy and tiredness
Other conditions that could affect a person’s living skills include:
Anxiety and panic disorders
Mood disorders such as Bipolar Disease
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Disabilities (intellectual, physical)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Who do I see?
Dhiraj Kishnani is Occupational Therapist at the Vital Health & Wellbeing Centre