As an occupational therapist (OT) I focus on all aspects of a client – the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Occupational therapy enables clients to function fully in their day-to-day activities or their “occupations”.
This can include daily tasks such as getting dressed, making a meal, shopping, taking care of children, managing stress, living life joyfully and so forth.
Think of anything you DO in your day – if you are having difficulties with it, an OT can help you problem solve and enhance your function and life.
Even though the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges are show separately below, it is essential to know they are all inter-related!
There is a powerful mind-body connection.
Here are examples of ways in which an OT can work with you or a family member:
- Assessing your strength, balance, endurance, pain and other physical issues that may be limiting you
- Assessing your home, social or cultural environment
- Providing recommendations to live safely and independently in your home and community
- This may include recommendations for assistive devices such as walkers, strategies and education to manage daily activities, and linking you to community resources
- Assessing your cognitive skills and abilities including attention, memory, problem solving, mental flexibility and abstract thinking (for instance for clients with a stroke, brain injury, dementia and so forth)
- Provide education and practical exercise to help clients optimize neural plasticity and growth (after a stroke or other brain injury)
- Provide compensatory strategies to clients with dementia and their caregivers to ensure safe and supported living in the home
- Everyone lives with some level of stress, which creates various emotional issues such feelings of overwhelm, sadness or frustration
- Using various approaches including mindfulness and awareness (of thoughts and emotions), I enable clients to work through and overcome emotional issues. Thus in turn manage stress levels
- As an OT I assist clients towards reaching their full potential – to find meaning and purpose amidst difficulties, coping with life stress, dealing with limitations, losses and managing change
- The core of the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance is spirituality (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy, CAOT)
- CAOT defines spirit at the “energy or life force that permeates all living things”
- I use approaches including mindfulness, acupressure meridian techniques, active listening and education to allow clients to live their life’s purpose