OT Week 2016

About OT Week

OT Week is run each year on the week commencing on the third Sunday in October. In 2016 it will be held from Sunday 16 October until Saturday 22 October, inclusive.

OT Week helps promote the many ways occupational therapy can help people at all stages of life to reach their potential.

OT Week 2016

How can occupational therapy help me to reach my pOTential?

To find an OT in your community, click hereOccupational therapists work with people of all abilities and all ages to do the things they want to and need to do through the use of therapeutic activities and equipment.

OTs (for short) find ways for you or your family member to do tasks more easily in all parts of your lives. This includes:

  • at home
  • at work or school
  • having fun
  • out and about
  • driving
  • being part of the community.

OTs do this through asking and seeing what you can do. When they know about your movement and strength in any particular activity, OTs can give you advice about how best to do something more easily and safely.

OTs can also prescribe, if necessary, devices 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.

OTs can develop a personal care support profile (including pressure care) to instruct direct care workers about how to safely support you and respect your preferences in your daily life.

Occupational therapists work across a whole range of settings. Some of these include:

  • Public and private hospitals
  • Medical rehabilitation units
  • Your local community health centre
  • Occupational health centres
  • Home care services
  • Retirement homes
  • Psychiatric clinics, hostels and hospitals
  • Vocational rehabilitation clinics
  • Tertiary education centres
  • Independent living centres
  • Private practice
  • Schools, pharmacy and industry

Some of the ways that occupational therapy can help people reach their potential are listed below.

Occupational therapy for children

Occupational therapy promotes normal development and stimulates learning in children with specific learning difficulties, physical disabilities, delayed development or those recovering from illness or injury.

Working with children, their families and teachers, occupational therapists aim to improve the child’s quality of life by helping them to participate in play, preschool, school and home activities.

An occupational therapist may work with children in any of the following areas:

  • Prerequisite activities – the child’s physical abilities, such as motor control, hand-to-eye coordination, body awareness and sensation
  • Functional skills – the child’s day-to-day living skills, such as eating, writing, going to the toilet, interacting with other children and playground skills
  • The environment – such as classroom furniture, classroom and schoolyard access, and equipment for woodwork, art and physical education.

Occupational therapy for young people

Adolescence is often a challenging and difficult time for young people and their families. Occupational therapy can help adolescents by promoting personal growth, which can help to improve self-esteem and develop independent social and communication skills. Teenagers with social and lifestyle problems, or disabilities resulting from an accident or disease, can maximise their independence and quality of life into adulthood with the help of an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy for adults and seniors

When an adult or an older person is affected by an illness, accident or workplace injury, an occupational therapist can help them on the road to recovery. They may assist with the return to home and work life through the development of new skills for daily living, such as household tasks and personal care, return-to-work or leisure programs. They may also make or facilitate changes to the work or home environment to make life easier and safer.

Occupational therapy in mental health

Occupational therapists also assist adults who are experiencing psychological or emotional difficulties. They can help a person to develop better ways to deal with mental illness in the context of day-to-day activities, managing work and emotional problems. They work with other health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and doctors.

Occupational therapy in the workplace

Occupational therapists play an important role in helping workers return to work following an injury or illness, including stress. Their role in the workplace covers:

  • Injury management and rehabilitation – including worksite assessments, injury risk assessments, occupational rehabilitation counselling and early intervention rehabilitation
  • Injury prevention – including manual-handling assessments, claims history reviews, ergonomic assessments, development of alternate duties, work-conditioning programs and the redesign of workplaces
  • Training – in areas like stress management, manual handling, back care, safe work practices, the introduction of new equipment, work-station adjustments and developing pause exercises, where you take a break for exercise at work.

More information for consumers

To learn more about how occupational therapy might be able to help you, visit the Therapy Choices website (www.therapychoices.org.au). This contains information that was written for consumers, by consumers.

Or, if you'd like to find an occupational therapist in your local community, click here.