Who do you see?

Anyone who has had an injury or medical condition, which has resulted in them being unable to function as they have previously.

What do you do?

Work with the person as part of an inter-disciplinary team to promote the person’s independence so that they can perform the activities they previously completed. This can include assessing the person’s physical and cognitive skills, home environment, social supports and both previous and current functioning in daily activities. From there we assist the person to retrain their skills to perform the task as they did before. This may also involve teaching the person adaptive techniques or provide equipment/aids to assist in performing the task differently.

Where do you do it?

  • Rehabilitation hospitals providing sub-acute care, general hospitals and local hospitals as both inpatients and outpatients
  • People’s homes as part community and home based rehabilitation services.
  • Community Associations or organisations

Case example:

A middle aged man, George, has had a stroke and consequently has significant weakness in their right arm and right leg, as well as difficulty using his right side. The occupational therapist completes an assessment of how the person is currently able to complete daily activities. The occupational therapist assists George to build strength in their right arm by practicing functional tasks (such as reaching for a cup or washing their body in the shower), and teaching him exercises. The occupational therapist teaches George techniques to ensure he see’s people/objects on his right hand side, provides adaptive cutlery to enable independence in eating, and prescribing a wheelchair to give him independence in mobilising while he returns to walking. The occupational therapist completes a home visit to ensure George can access his house and has the equipment he require to be independent and safe within their home. When the person is ready to leave hospital the occupational therapist would arrange follow up services within the home or as an outpatient, and link George to a service to assist with him transitioning back to work. The family is encouraged to be involved in the rehabilitation process and therapy plan.

How can I find out more?

Please contact the WA Occupational Therapy Association if you would like further information – info@waota.com.au