Occupational Therapy

   Overview

Occupational therapists are qualified health professionals who work with people of all ages and abilities to do the things they need and want to in all aspects of life, such as taking care of oneself and others, working, volunteering, and participating in hobbies, interests and social events.  Occupational therapists call these things “occupations”.

The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the occupations of everyday life.

Occupational therapy is a client-centered health profession that involves ongoing assessments to understand what occupations are important to you, any current issues you may have in doing them, and understanding your goals.  Occupational therapists will then work on any or all of the following to ensure you can participate it the occupations you need and want to do - enhancing your own personal life skills, adjusting the environment you do your occupations in, and adjusting the occupation itself.

Occupational therapists can also prescribe, if necessary, devices and therapy equipment to help you do the activities you want and need. They will make sure you can use the device in the best way to meet your needs. This means that you will get a total solution and not just a product.

   What do Occupational Therapists Do?

Child Care

  • Helping children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Educating and involving parents, careers, and others to facilitate the normal development and learning of children.

A child’s occupations are centered around play and learning. Occupational therapists work with children with any condition, disability, or impairment that affects their ability to perform the everyday activities of life, such as getting dressed, eating, going to school, making friends, and being part of a club or group.

This includes:

  • Neurological conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • Acute medical, surgical, and orthopedic conditions
  • Physical disabilities (e.g. spina bifida)
  • Developmental delay and disabilities
  • Sensory and attention issues

Occupational therapists work in partnership with the child, their parents, and other important people in the child’s life such as their doctor, teacher, and other health professionals.


Occupational therapists can

  • Help children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to help with play, school, or independent skills (e.g throwing a ball, getting dressed, holding a pen or utensil)
  • Educate and involve parents, carers, and others to facilitate the development and learning of children
  • Help children with developmental delays learn everyday tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
  • Help children with behavioral issues maintain positive behaviors in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in physical activity)


   Rehabilitation & Aged Care

Occupational therapists work with older people with a wide variety of disabilities resulting from disease, injury and age related changes including vision and hearing, balance, coordination, memory, and confusion.

Occupational therapists can help older people to maintain participation in the occupations of everyday life by working with them to:

  • Prevent falls
  • Achieve a safer, more accessible home that enables participation in everyday life
  • Mobilize safely using appropriate devices where necessary
  • Plan for the change of life role that comes with retirement
  • Provide education and strategies to cope with age-specific illnesses e.g. dementia
  • Helping clients regain or enhance their daily lives after specific events such as hip replacement or stroke.
  • Assessing and modifying clients’ home and community environments to improve their safety and independence.
  • Prescribing and educating clients and careers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function.

   Acute Care

  • Specialist interventions in various health conditions including surgery, burns, HIV and acute mental health.
  • Assessing clients’ cognition, function, and psychosocial needs.
  • Monitoring clients’ function and progress, prescribing adaptive equipment to ensure safety upon discharge from hospitals.

   Mental Health

  • Designing individual and group 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.

   Rehabilitation & Independence

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to rehabilitate after injury or illness. Rehabilitation areas that occupational therapists work in include:

  • Helping people regain or enhance participation in the occupations of everyday life after specific events such as a hip replacement, spinal injury or stroke, or within a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis
  • Assessing and modifying homes and community environments to improve their safety and independence
  • Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist participation
  • Manufacturing or providing splints after hand or upper limb injury
  • Ergonomic assessment and modification in the home, workplace, or community
  • As occupational therapists work with people with both physical and mental health needs, occupational therapists are well placed to provide a holistic approach that takes into account emotional wellbeing as well as physical needs when working with people after injury or illness.

   Workplace Injury Management

Occupational therapists use specialized assessments to determine the functional requirements of various jobs, and people’s capacity to return to work.

Occupational therapists can assist with:

  • Designing and coordinating graded return to work programs
  • Educating clients and employers in safe work practices
  • Modifying the work environment to suit the needs of individuals so as to prevent or minimize injuries and ill-health
  • Occupational therapists can work with people who have physical or mental health needs in the workplace

   Aged Care

Occupational therapists work with older people with a wide variety of disabilities resulting from disease, injury, and age-related changes including vision and hearing, balance, coordination, memory, and confusion.

Occupational therapists can help older people to maintain participation in the occupations of everyday life by working with them to:

  • Prevent falls
  • Achieve a safer, more accessible home that enables participation in everyday life
  • Mobilize safely using appropriate devices where necessary
  • Plan for the change of life role that comes with retirement
  • Provide education and strategies to cope with age-specific illnesses e.g. dementia

   Other Areas

Occupational therapists work with clients through all stages of their life. Some of the other areas that occupational therapists may work in are:

  • Access
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Adaptive Technology
  • Counseling
  • Ergonomics
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Hand Therapy
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Palliative Care
  • Pain Management
  • Sensory Integration
  • Vision Impairment
  • Wellbeing Psychotherapy

   Specialists



DR. SNEHA SANGLIKAR
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
B.O.Th, F.N.R, C/SI (USC/WPS), C/BG®101, C/DIR®101

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