Occupational Therapy

Helping people, of all ages, overcome the challenges they face completing everyday tasks or activities.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational Therapists, often called OTs, are healthcare professionals who help people of all ages regain or improve their ability to do the activities they need or want to do in their daily lives. These activities, or "occupations," are more than just jobs - they can include anything from self-care tasks like bathing and dressing, to enjoying hobbies and participating in social activities.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

They help people overcome challenges related to physical, sensory, cognitive, or emotional limitations. This could be due to illness, injury, disability, ageing, or mental health conditions.

They enable people to live as independently and meaningfully as possible. This can involve:

  • Assessing: Evaluating a person's strengths, limitations, and environment to understand their challenges.
  • Planning: Developing a personalised plan of goals and interventions tailored to the individual's needs.
  • Treatment: Using a variety of techniques, such as:
    • Adaptive strategies: Teaching new ways to perform tasks, or using assistive devices to make tasks easier.
    • Exercises and activities: Strengthening muscles, improving coordination, and enhancing cognitive skills.
    • Environmental modifications: Adapting the home or workplace to make it more accessible and safer.
    • Counselling and education: Guiding on managing limitations and promoting overall well-being.

Who do Occupational Therapists work with?

Occupational Therapists work with a variety of individuals including, but not limited to:

  • Adults recovering from injuries or surgery,
  • People with chronic conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis,
  • Older adults experiencing age-related challenges,
  • Individuals with mental health conditions like anxiety or depression,
  • Children with developmental delays or disabilities.

Where does an Occupational Therapist work?

You can find Occupational Therapists in various settings, such as:

  • Hospitals and rehabilitation centres,
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities,
  • Schools and clinics,
  • Homes and communities.

Overall, Occupational Therapists play a crucial role in empowering people to live life to the fullest by helping them overcome challenges and participate in the activities that matter most to them.

Hear from one of our Occupational Therapists, Alison, who has worked for Suffolk County Council for over 3 years. Alison explains the responsibilities of an Occupational Therapist, and how her job positively impacts residents in the community.