Occupational Therapy

Questions About Occupational Therapy Services (FAQ)

What exactly does an occupational therapist do?

By providing client-centred strategies, occupational therapists optimize health and well-being for a variety of patients. Some of the ways in which an OT can allow patients to engage more fully in activities that are important to their everyday lives.

What are some of the duties and responsibilities of an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

This job generally requires the ability to do the following:

  • Review patients’ medical history and asses their condition and needs
  • Evaluate patients’ ability to do certain tasks
  • Confer with physicians, patients and their families, nurses, therapists, social workers, and other members of a patient’s care team
  • Develop a treatment plan for patients with specific goals and tasks that will help them meet those goals
  • Guide patients to perform tasks to meet their goals
  • Demonstrate exercises that can help patients better perform everyday tasks and relieve pain
  • Evaluate a patient’s home or workplace and identify potential improvements based on their needs
 

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are types of rehabilitative care. The primary difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy  is that OT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and  Physiotherapists focus on improving a client’s ability to perform movement of the human body. While they have similar goals and treat many of the same conditions, they also differ.

PT focuses on restoring or improving movement, strength, and range of motion. OT aims to improve the motor skills you need to perform daily tasks. According to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy (OT) is:

…a type of health care that helps to solve the problems that interfere with a person’s ability to do the things that are important to them.

The Description of Physiotherapy in Canada document from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association states that:

Physiotherapy is a primary care, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to improving quality of life by: Promoting optimal mobility, physical activity and overall health and wellness; Improving and maintaining optimal functional independence and physical performance; Rehabilitating injury and the effects of disease or disability with therapeutic exercise programs and other interventions; and Educating and planning maintenance and support programs to prevent re-occurrence, re-injury or functional decline.

What is an example of occupational therapy?

College of Occupational Therapist Of Ontario provides some great examples OTs work with people of all ages – infants to seniors – in many different ways.  Here are a few examples:

  • Working with children and teachers in a classroom to help children develop skills such as handwriting or computer use or to provide strategies to manage behaviours – skills that will make it easier for students to learn and thrive in school.
  • Working with patients admitted to hospital following a stroke or brain injury to assess and treat cognitive impairment – problems with the ability to think, remember or communicate – to help patients recover from or manage issues related to their condition.
  • Working with clients with mental illness in outpatient programs, to assist people living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders to manage their conditions so they can live independently at home in the community.
  • Working with clients to identify and purchase equipment, such as wheelchairs or bathroom safety devices, to ensure clients can safely return to or remain at home when their physical abilities have changed as a result of a condition such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis.
  • Working with clients following a workplace or motor vehicle injury to determine what the client may need in the future to be able to perform their daily activities.
  • Working with clients, who have experienced a change in their physical or mental abilities, to return to work by adapting how they do their job, what type of job they do or making changes to the workplace environment.

OT Services We Offer

RETURN TO WORK AND CASE MANAGEMENT

At Swift Health Services, we offer a range of return-to-work services to assist individuals experiencing physical, cognitive, and or psychological issues. Return to work services include:

Work Site and Ergonomic Assessment

return to work

Swift Health occupational therapists will provide a comprehensive work site and ergonomic assessments ensuring clients can complete work tasks without the risk of developing or aggravating physical symptoms.

Gradual Return to Work

Our occupational therapists work with clients, their doctors and employer to develop a modified or graduated resumption of job tasks and work hours.

Pain Management Program and Education

Occupational therapists will provide clients with practical and hands on strategies (progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, autogenic training) to further enhance their treatment.

Case Management

Occupational Therapists at Swift Health will work with clients’ doctor and other health professionals (physiotherapist, chiropractor, registered massage therapist) to ensure communication between health providers. Our occupational therapists will coordinate with ICBC and your lawyer to ensure clients’ needs are met.

Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP)

Occupational therapists at Swift Health are PGAP providers! PGAP was developed to target psychological and risk factors for delayed recovery. PGAP has shown to reduce psychological risk factors and promote successful return to work. To learn more about PGAP click here!

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCEs)

Swift Health provides functional capacity evaluations. An FCE is a set of tests, practices and observations that are combined to determine the ability of the evaluated to function in a variety of circumstances, most often employment, in an objective manner. Physicians change diagnoses based on FCEs. Want to learn what happens during the assessment? Click here!

HOSPITAL DISCHARGE AND HOME HEALTH

Occupational Therapists at Swift Health Services will communicate with the client’s medical/rehab team at the hospital to ensure a smooth transition from the hospital setting to the home setting. Safety equipment and personal and home care services will be set up prior to client being discharged from the hospital. Hospital Discharge and Home Health Services include:

OT helping patient after hospital dischargeHousekeeping and Home Maintenance Retraining

Swift Health occupational therapists will work with clients to improve their ability to complete home maintenance tasks including household cleaning and yard work. Occupational therapists are experts in providing clients with specialized training techniques to enable them to become more independent in their homes. Caregivers may also be educated on how to facilitate maximal performance and independence which enables individuals to become more successful and ultimately independent in the home.

Personal Care and Home care Support

Our occupational therapists will complete comprehensive personal (bathing, dressing) and home care (cooking, cleaning) assessments to provide clients with care aides to support them during their recovery process.

Assistive Devices Training

Our occupational therapists will assess for and provide suitable assistive devices to help with clients’ activities of daily living (ADLs).

Mobility Device Training

Occupational therapist can assist clients’ in training to operate specialized mobility equipment such as scooters and wheelchairs.

Community Reintegration

Swift Health occupational therapists help individuals resume community roles after a motor vehicle injury. Occupational therapists will provide interventions to improve social skills and community awareness.

 

Services may includeergonomics

  • Workstation modification
  • Employee education on topics including safe lifting techniques and body mechanics
  • Simple exercise for relief and prevention

Our process

  • Workstation and activity assessment
  • Workplace education
  • Post-program follow up

 

Our OTs come to your home, school or daycare

We do not charge for travel

Occupational Therapists at Swift Health Services are trained in treating a wide variety of pediatric diagnoses including, although not limited to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delays
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Visual Difficulties
  • Behavioural Difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Past Trauma

Occupational Therapy for Seniors (Aging in place)

We do not charge for travel

Occupational Therapists at Swift Health work with seniors to improve their home safety and maintain their goal of staying in their home and community.

Assessments

  • Person (mental, cognitive, physical function/medical status)
  • Environment (physical environment and social/support network)
  • Occupations (self-care; life roles; leisure activities)
  • Mobility (balance, gait, transfer, stairs)
  • Vision Loss

Recommendations

  • Adapting home environment to optimize functioning and independence
  • Home modifications
  • Assistive devices
  • Mobility and Positioning
  • Cognitive (remedial and compensatory strategies)
  • Mental Health (activity planning, CBT)
  • Community Linking
  • Activities that promote visual awareness

Assessment for Home Modifications

Swift Health occupational therapists (OT) provide home modification assessments for seniors and people living with disabilities. BC Housing has made changes to improve access to home modifications for seniors and people living with disabilities. The BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations (BC RAHA) program now requires assessment by an occupational therapist for many adaptations. Visit BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations (BC RAHA) (bchousing.org) to learn more. The OTs at Swift Health can assist you or a loved one through the home modification process to ensure continuity of care, quality assurance, and to reach outcome measures.

  • Client/Environment assessment
  • Home modification equipment and design recommendations
  • Contractor/Vendor quote reviews
  • Construction/Equipment installation follow up
  • Post-modification occupancy evaluation

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