What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational therapy is the study of occupation and assisting a person to be independent in these activities. To an OT occupation is any activity that you carry out from brushing your teeth to cooking your dinner to walking up and down the stairs. People are not always able to carry our these activities due to a physical or psychological problem. OT’s take a holistic approach to look at all areas of a person’s life. To sum it up, "A doctor may save your life, but an Occupational Therapist helps you live it!"

OT has been around for a long but has developed significantly over time. It has always used meaningful occupation as a base for improving function. OT’s have been called basket weavers in the past, relating to the fact they often used craft activities to improve people’s abilities. It is now much more scientific based and looks at all activities that are important to a person.

OT’s will consider people’s current function as well as future functional needs. They will think about all areas of your life, including daily activities, social, leisure and work. OT’s will work with people of all ages and conditions to enable them to be as independent as possible and have the best quality of life as possible. This also includes assisting people who are involved in their care.

OT’s can be found in all sorts of areas from hospital wards, mental health units, schools for children with special needs, hand therapy units, rehab units, spinal units, social services and brain injury wards to name a few.