What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy helps to solve the problems that interfere with your ability to do the things that are important to you. It can also prevent a problem, or minimize its effects.
When an injury, illness, disability or other problem limits your ability to:
- Take care of yourself,
- Participate in paid or unpaid work, or
- Enjoy your leisure time, e.g. hobbies, sports, spending time with family,
then you may want to learn some new skills for the job of living from an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists believe that occupations (activities) describe who you are and how you feel about yourself. If you are unable to do the things you want, or need to do, to live and enjoy your life, your general well-being may be affected.
What OT means to me:
Occupational therapy is just so practical and functional! If person can't do something as a result of a disability or injury, we have the privilege to help them find a way to get it done! We might do this by teaching new ways to do something, or by providing equipment/aids that can assist in performing the activity. The assessment and provision of wheelchairs and cushions is one of my favorite ways to maximize someone's functional status. I love seeing how providing the appropriate wheelchair and seating system can increase a person's ability to sit and function comfortably and safely through out their daily activities.
Occupational therapy, for me, is all about everyday function - enabling individuals to participate, as fully as possible, in the day to day activities that are meaningful to them. In all of life's nuances and complexities, occupational therapists work in collaboration with clients to find creative and practical solutions to the challenges that often arise following injury, illness or disability. As a client-centred profession, occupational therapists build upon the experiences and strengths of individuals, towards maximizing their independence, safety and most importantly, quality of life.
Occupational Therapists value independence! OT's are problem solvers who find ways people can complete everyday tasks despite physical and/or environmental challenges that may lie in the way. It is a privilege to work closely with clients and families to set meaningful goals and offer practical solutions for living life to the fullest.
To me, Occupational Therapy is so much more than a profession. It is the honour of being welcomed into a client's life and home. It is the privilege of being trusted to hear a client's story. It is the camaraderie and teamwork of working with a client to overcome barriers that impact daily life. And it is the tremendous sense of joy and accomplishment when a client's goals are met, in knowing that Occupational Therapy helped make a client's life safer, more comfortable, more enjoyable, and more meaningful.
OT is client-centred and function-focused. As an occupational therapist, I consider the individual's physical, mental and emotional health and can play a vital role to enable one to live their best life by promoting independence and participation in important day-to-day tasks.
Operating from a client-centered framework, OT's support individuals along their recovery journey from a variety of mental and physical health concerns using evidence-based approaches to work collaboratively with individuals to assist with goal development and create plans to achieve them. It is a privilege and honour to get to know, and work with clients on such an intimate level, often during their most difficult times.