Whether you’re recovering from an injury, living with a disability or your body just isn’t able to function like it once did, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Working with an occupational therapist could help you to get the most out of life.

Keep reading to learn more about occupational therapy and what to expect when you work with an occupational therapist.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy, or OT for short, is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping individuals develop, recover or maintain the skills they need for daily living and working.

The main goal of occupational therapy is to help individuals participate in regular daily life to the fullest extent possible. This can look different for everyone. This might involve helping someone regain independence after an injury or illness, assisting children with developmental delays in participating in school activities or supporting older adults in maintaining their independence despite age-related challenges.

What does an occupational therapist do?

Occupational therapists (OTs) work with people of all ages who may have physical, mental or cognitive challenges that affect their ability to engage in meaningful activities or occupations. They use their skills and knowledge to help people to overcome or live better with physical issues related to disease, injury, ageing and disability.

OTs have undergone university training in body structure, function and the effects of different disorders to be able to practice occupational therapy. In Australia, OTs must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). As part of their registration, they have to meet strict qualification requirements, standards for ethical behaviour and continuing professional development.

OTs use a holistic approach, considering the person’s physical, emotional and environmental factors that may impact their ability to perform daily activities. They work with clients to set goals, develop personalised treatment plans and implement interventions that address specific challenges. These interventions can include exercises, adaptive equipment, environmental modifications and strategies to enhance cognitive or emotional well-being.

How occupational therapists can help you

When you work with an OT, they’re there to help you live your life to the fullest. They’ll spend time getting to know you, your circumstances and the various supports you have available to you. They’ll work with you to understand your goals and then implement evidence-based strategies to help you achieve them.

Occupational therapy with Community NeuroRehab Service

At Community NeuroRehab Service (CNRS), we offer occupational therapy across the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Tin Can Bay. Our team of highly skilled occupational therapists works with clients of all ages to achieve greater independence and function. We offer OT at your home, workplace, school or in our fully-equipped Buderim clinic, whatever works best for you and your goals. With a focus on neuro occupational therapy, we’re able to provide the most progressive and effective treatment for clients suffering from conditions affecting the brain and nervous system.

When you work with an OT at CNRS, you’ll notice that your therapy program generally includes three key stages: evaluation, consultation and treatment.

During the evaluation stage, your OT will work with you to get to know you better. They’ll assess your abilities in the context of your work, school, home, family situation and general lifestyle. Your OT will ask a number of different questions about your current health, challenges and your future goals. They’ll look at how you’re functioning right now to get a good understanding of where you’re at. At CNRS, we understand the significant role your family or support people play in your rehabilitation journey, so we welcome them to join in on each session.

Once your OT has completed their evaluation, they’ll consult with you, close family members and other health professionals to develop a personalised treatment program. This could involve weekly, fortnightly or monthly treatment sessions to help you get the best possible outcome. Your OT will be there every step of the way as you work towards your goals.

After we’ve built your roadmap for success, it’s time to start treatment. Your treatment can take place anywhere that’s convenient for you, whether that be at work, in your home, at school or in our well-equipped clinic. The main aim is always to improve skills to help you live life to the fullest and participate in the activities that you enjoy, so picking the right setting can make all the difference. Whether you want to take up a hobby or simply get dressed more easily, your OT is there to help you make your goals happen.

But that’s not all. CNRS is home to a team of dedicated allied health professionals, so if your OT thinks you could benefit from additional services, they can point you in the right direction within the CNRS community. Contact our friendly team to learn more about how we can help you get your life back on track.