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Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy
If you're finding some tasks or occupations difficult because of an injury, illness, disability or a major life change, you may need help from an occupational therapist.

An occupational therapist can help you maintain, regain or improve your independence by:

  • finding different ways to do things
  • showing how to practice a task in manageable stages
  • changing your environment at home, school or workplace
  • using new equipment

 

 

How can an occupational therapist help?

An occupational therapist may:

  • teach you new ways of carrying out everyday tasks, like getting in and out of the bath
  • work with you to regain confidence following time in hospital
  • help you to manage tiredness or pain, so you can manage day-to-day tasks
  • advise you on how to minimise the risk of having a fall, including what you can do to make your home safer
  • advise or train you in how to protect your joints so you can avoid without straining them
  • advise on seating and positioning
  • demonstrate to carers how they can assist with practical tasks, like moving a person safely
  • advise on ways of coping with negative feelings to help you cope

How can I get occupational therapy?

Anyone, of any age, can get help from an occupational therapist if they need it.

You can refer yourself to an occupational therapist by contacting your local council's social care department.

If you prefer, you can ask your GP, nurse, social worker, or other health or social care professional to refer you to an occupational therapist.

If you're in hospital, you can ask to see an occupational therapist if you've not been referred automatically.

To arrange a private consultation with an independent occupational therapist who will charge you a fee, visit the College of Occupational Therapists to find a local independent occupational therapist.

Further information

Find out more about occupational therapy from the British Association of Occupational Therapists/College of Occupational Therapists.

Read the leaflets by the British Association of Occupational Therapists/College of Occupational Therapists about how you, or someone you care for, can get the most from life. They also have a toolkit on living well through activities in care homes.

The information was last updated on: 26th January 2016

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