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Occupational Therapy Needs Assessments

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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists believe that people can develop their skills and improve their wellbeing through participating in activities that are meaningful and purposeful to that individual.

The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable individuals to participate in the activities of everyday life. Outcomes are achieved by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation. Occupational Therapists use careful analysis of physical, environmental, psychosocial, mental, spiritual, political and cultural factors to identify barriers to occupation.

 Occupational Therapy approaches include:

 • Teaching new ways of approaching tasks
• Comprehensive home and job site   evaluations with adaptation recommendations
• Adaptive equipment recommendations and usage training
• Environmental adaptation including provision of equipment or designing adaptations and joint working with architects
• Improving Daily Living Skills, Money Management, Personal self-care and Leisure and lifestyle activities
• Work / vocational rehabilitation

What is Occupational Therapy?

 

Occupational therapy provides practical support to empower people. It facilitates recovery and overcome barriers preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them.

This support increases people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

“Occupation” as a term refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure. (www.rcot.co.uk)

 

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapist is a Health Care Professional that plays a critical role in helping people of all ages overcome the effects of disability caused by illness, ageing or accident so that they can carry out everyday tasks or occupations.

They have a broad education that comprises of Physiology & Anatomy, Psychology, Sociology, Psychosocial and Occupational Sciences.

This enables therapists to understand the relationships and interactions between individuals, and their environments.

Great therapists can work in a truly person-centred and holistic way.

What is an Occupational Therapy assessment?

 

The initial assessment usually involves a discussion with you about the difficulties you may be experiencing in completing your daily occupations.

These could be completing personal or domestic tasks, difficulties with mobility, accessing the community, accessing the home environment, work or education.

You may have already identified your goals prior to the assessments.

Your goals are the things that you would like to be able to do, or do better.  The assessment process might also involve the following;

 

A review of records:

The therapist may, or may not have access to other reports such as medical reports, school reports, other therapy reports. This will help them to identify further assessments that may be required and identify potential risks.  They must have your consent to access this information.

 

Skilled observations/non standardised assessments:

The therapist might ask to observe you participating in tasks. They will be looking to identify your strengths and abilities, and gain a better understanding of the cognitive, physical, environmental, and/or social barriers that are affecting your ability to participate in the task.

 

Conversations with others

An Occupational Therapist doesn’t work in isolation. They will often speak with others involved in your care and support in order to ascertain the need for a multidisciplinary approach when goal setting and intervention planning.

Completion of standardised assessments

Standardised assessments are formal assessments that have been designed to measure an individual’s abilities compared to that of the same population (age). Standardized assessments are quite often used with children of varying ages. Standardised assessments give a clear score that can be used to give a picture of the child’s abilities in comparison to other children of the same age. This can be helpful information to formulate a therapy plan, or to pass onto the school or other therapists working with the child. These scores can also be used as a baseline for therapy. Tests can be re administered after therapy to show progress.

Before, during, or after the assessment you will have identified the goals that are meaningful and purposeful to you. It is important that the goals are YOUR goals and not the therapists’ goals. The Occupational Therapist will devise a therapy programme with you and those involved in your care to enable you to achieve your goals.

 

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