What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupations or 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 live and enjoy your life your general health and well-being may be affected. Occupation is important for everyone’s life (British Association of Occupational Therapists).
Occupational therapy is a health profession that enables people to perform and participate to their full potential in everyday life activities or occupations.
Occupational Therapy at Stewarts Services
Occupational therapy is a core member of the multi-disciplinary clinical services team here at Stewarts. We provide services to early services, preschool, Stewarts school and adult services (day and residential). Service users referred to occupational therapy can be seen both in Stewarts or the home setting where relevant. The occupational therapist works together with the service user, family/carer and staff involved in collaborative goal setting and intervention planning.
How Can an Occupational Therapist Help?
Occupational therapy aims to improve the quality of an individual’s life by enhancing his or her skills in certain key areas:
- Self-care activities: e.g. dressing, feeding, grooming, bathing and managing medications.
- Activities of daily living: Skills required for living in the community e.g. shopping, meal preparation, household management, handling money.
- Work & Education: e.g. accessing work / classroom environments, access to computer technology, difficulties with handwriting, exploring educational / work interests.
- Leisure & Play Activities: Providing support and advice for performing leisure/play activities and optimising work/life balance.
When looking at an individual’s performance and participation, occupational therapists may consider some of the following areas:
- Environmental Adaptations: Modifying the home, work or classroom environment to enhance his/her performance and quality of life.
- Postural Management: Specialised equipment to support an individual’s function and mobility e.g. specialised wheelchairs.
- Motor Skills: The ability to use and co-ordinate movements.
- Sensory Processing: The ability to process and organise sensory information from the environment.
- Routines and patterns of activity
- Motivation for participation e.g. values, interests, self-efficacy
- Cognitive / Perceptual Skills: Thinking, planning, organising, learning, perceiving and problem-solving in every day life tasks.
What happens when a referral is made to occupational therapy?
- Referral can be made to the occupational therapy service by contacting a member of the department or completing a referral form, which is available from the Assessment Clinic.
- Once the referral has been received and prioritised, the occupational therapist will carry out an assessment. There may be a waiting period between referral and assessment.
- Following assessment, a meaningful personalised plan for intervention will be developed in collaboration with the service-user, caregivers or family members and other team members.
- Occupational therapy may be offered through direct individual contact or group programs as well as monitoring or consultation.
How do I contact an Occupational Therapist?
The occupational therapist can be contacted via the Assessment Clinic at 01 651 8145 or extension 1145. The office hours for the occupational therapy department are 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.