MS: Maintaining a career and occupational therapy
A satisfying work life is as important to someone with multiple sclerosis as to anyone. But if you have MS, finding work that matches your skills, interests, and abilities can be especially challenging.
How do I find a job that matches my skills?
Vocational assessment and rehabilitation can help you find a job that matches your skills and abilities. Vocational assessment tests your transferable skills to assess your aptitudes, vocational interests, and strengths and limitations. This assessment also measures your general abilities and specific needs and interests. Part of vocational assessment is career exploration, which introduces you to the many resources available for making career choices. You can:
- See what kind of jobs are available
- Clarify your aptitudes and abilities
- Research career interests
- Identify occupational preferences
- Define vocational goals
Can I get help with work-related issues?
Individual and group counselling helps you cope with issues related to returning to work, including:
- Adjustment to disability
- Fear of injury
- Fear of change
- Clarification of functional limitations
- Factors affecting motivation and benefits of working
- Employer and employee expectations
- CV and cover letter writing
- Job interviews
How do I determine if my new workplace is safe?
A counsellor can observe you at work while performing specific job duties to determine if you can safely perform a job. The counsellor may then recommend modifying job duties or the work site to improve safety.
Occupational therapy can help people with multiple sclerosis stay active in their daily lives. By improving skills, teaching alternative ways to complete tasks, or introducing useful equipment, an occupational therapist can help people with MS perform everyday activities with greater ease and satisfaction.
Who should consider occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can be quite beneficial when symptoms of multiple sclerosis are hindering you from:
- Being productive at home, work or school.
- Having fun, such as enjoying pastimes and finding new ways to spend time.
- Looking after yourself, such as dressing, washing, grooming and eating.
How can occupational therapy help?
Occupational therapy generally provides assessment, treatment and recommendations in the following areas:
- Arm and hand therapy
- Handwriting aids
- Home modification information
- Driver evaluation and vehicle modification information
- Cooking and homemaking adaptations
- Eating and dinnerware adaptations
- Computer modifications
- Workplace or work equipment modifications
- Leisure skill development
- Manual or electric wheelchair use
- Bath and toilet equipment use
- Dressing and grooming aids
Where can I find an occupational therapist?
Ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is available through the NHS, or if you have private health insurance, your insurance company should pay for this if your GP makes a referral.