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What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is about making practical changes to make daily home, work or school tasks easier, and to help maintain independence for some adults and children with disabilities.

An occupational therapist (OT) may offer advice on tasks from dressing, bathing, preparing food and adaptations to a car to keep you driving.

Occupational therapists are experienced in helping with physical conditions, learning disabilities, and mental health conditions.

Occupational therapy may be available through a GP's referral, hospital, social workers, voluntary organisations, an employer's HR department, or you can go direct to independent occupational therapists registered with the British Association of Occupational Therapy (BAOT).

Occupational therapy may be part of a rehabilitation programme after an injury, operation, or illness. It may be available for short-term conditions or recovery, as well as long-term conditions.

Solutions will be recommended after a home, school or workplace assessment.

The therapist may suggest different ways of doing things, special equipment, or give tips on removing potential hazards and general improvements. These may include better lighting or removing possible trip hazards.

Mobility aids, including wheelchairs, frames, and artificial limbs may be recommended. These may be funded by the NHS, or some equipment will be available privately.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 17, 2017

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