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What is occupational therapy?

Updated: Mar 14


“Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home, at work – and everywhere else. It’s about being able to do the things you want and have to do. Everything is focused on your wellbeing and your ability to participate in occupations (activities)”. (Royal College of Occupational therapists, 2024)

What do we mean by occupations?

 

Occupations cover the things a person needs to do, wants to do, and are expected to do and that meet their basic human needs. Occupation isn’t just your job or activities of daily living. An occupation can be self-care (washing, eating or sleeping), productive (work, study, caring or domestic activities), and leisure (playing sports, hobbies or socialising).


How can occupational therapy benefit older adults?

 

Activities such as the examples outlined above, can become increasingly difficult for an older adult to do on their own due to an injury, health condition, disability, or in some cases because of normal ageing process.

Occupational therapists can help older adults to do the activities that are important to them whilst aiming to maintain independence, self-confidence and enhance overall wellbeing. This can include putting into place solutions that keep them safe and active, like walking aids or adaptations around the home. Occupational therapists can also help to find more opportunities for social participation, and can signpost to local community support services that may benefit the individual.


The Royal College of Occupational Therapists have written an interesting report on how occupational therapists are contributing to the support and wellbeing of older adults living at home. Click here to read.


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