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What is occupational therapy and how can it help you?

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October 1, 2023

What is the value of an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational therapists (OTs) work with people of all ages to overcome challenges that impact their ability to do the activities they want to do, need to do, or are expected to do in their daily lives. OTs play a vital role in the PCVRS (Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services) rehabilitation journey by helping you regain your independence and achieve your rehabilitation goals.

OTs can improve your health and well-being by helping you participate more fully in activities that are important to you. They will work with you to improve your life after service, helping address challenges at home, at work, or in the community; and improving your health and overall well-being.

They will help you identify activities that are meaningful to you, analyze them, and break them down into smaller tasks. This will make it easier for you to do them successfully.

What is the value of an Occupational Therapist?

OTs take a holistic view of your rehabilitation needs. They consider many factors, including physical and mental health barriers, that may impact your ability to participate in daily roles and responsibilities. They consider your:

  • Physical abilities (strength, balance, coordination)
  • Mental abilities (memory, coping strategies, organizational skills)
  • Devices and equipment being used (mobility aids, home safety aids)
  • Support systems (family, friends)
  • Physical setup of the environment (home, classroom, workplace)

Depending on the challenges they identify, OTs will work with you to:

  • Improve your physical, cognitive, and emotional skills
  • Address barriers related to a disability, by providing education and problem solving or adapting tasks to overcome barriers
  • Recommend and teach you how to use devices and equipment, like mobility aids and home safety equipment
  • Recommend changes to your environment, like the physical layout of your home or workspace

Occupational Therapy treatment is focused on establishing routines and increasing participation in daily activities. It can help you reach your work or personal goals and become more independent.

How can an OT help you? 

OTs can help you in a number of ways. They can work with you to:

  • develop new skills and strategies to help you address barriers that prevent your full participation in meaningful activities.
  • identify local supports and groups to help expand your community engagement.
  • help you rehabilitate into everyday life with changes to your environment, new equipment, and education on best practices to achieve your rehabilitation goals.
  • teach you proper body mechanics and set up an ergonomic environment to prevent injuries at home, in the workplace, and your community.
  • advocate for your rehabilitation needs including medical, psycho-social, and vocational needs.
  • perform various assessments including in-home assessments, psycho-social assessments, cognitive abilities assessments, functional capacity evaluations, or ergonomic assessments.

Where do OTs work?

OTs commonly work in hospitals and health clinics, but they can also work in community mental health centers, physiotherapy clinics, home care, and health promotion . Occupational therapists can also work virtually, depending on the scope of treatment. They are important members of the interdisciplinary PCVRS team.

OTs define anything we do that occupies our time as an 'occupation,' so their work can touch on all aspects of our lives. That’s why working with an occupational therapist is so important! Schedule an appointment with an occupational therapist today and get back to doing all of the things you love in your daily life.

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Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program
5th Floor 915 Fort Street
Victoria, BC V8V 3K3

Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program

In cooperation with Veteran Affairs Canada.