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Occupational Therapy

Who Are We?

Occupational therapists believe the activities you do every day help to keep you healthy.

Our activities or "occupations" can be divided into three groups:

  1. Self-Care - what we do to take care of ourselves (dressing, bathing, grooming, feeding)
  2. Work or Productivity - participating in paid or unpaid work, going to school, taking care of our children and /or homes
  3. Leisure - what we do for fun and enjoyment (hobbies, sports)

Sickness, disease and/ or injury can make it hard to do the activities that are important for us. Occupational Therapists can help.

Occupational Therapists want to know:

  • What activities you need or want to do the most
  • What activities you can and cannot do physically (strength, coordination, balance, other physical abilities)
  • What activities you can and cannot do mentally (memory, organizational skills, coping skills, other mental abilities)
  • Whether you have help when you need it (could be a person or a piece of equipment)
  • If your home, work and play areas are set up to let you do things for yourself.

Occupational therapists are good problem solvers. They work with you to find practical suggestions to help you do the things that are important to you.

How do I get in to see an occupational therapist at Horizon Health Network?

Horizon Health Network wants it to be easy for you to get the care you need:

  • A referral from a Doctor/Nurse Practitioner or other Health Care provider
  • Self-referral - you can call your local occupational therapy department, tell them the reason you would like to see an occupational therapist and refer yourself.  

Where do occupational therapists work?

  • Hospitals
  • Acute Psychiatry
  • Extramural Program
  • Community Health Centres
  • Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation
  • Community Mental Health

Definitions for Hospital Based Services

Activities of Daily Living (ADL):  Includes self-feeding, dressing, bathing, mobility, personal hygiene

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL): Includes care of others and pets, child rearing, use of communication devices (phone, computers, etc.), community mobility, financial and household management and meal preparation

Functional Mobility and Transfers:  Ability to walk or use a wheelchair in the home and/or community. Transfers to bed, toilet, shower/bath, car, etc. Ability to transport objects from one space to another.

Recommendations and Prescriptions for Adaptive Equipment:  Common items include bathroom equipment (tub transfer benches, raised toilet seats), Wheelchairs for short and long-term use, devices adapted to do a specific task (long handled reachers, weighted spoons, sock aids, etc.).

Splinting: Custom made (molded) splints following hand surgery or an injury as per surgeon's recommendations, Recommendations for off-the-shelf products for arthritis

Functional Cognitive and Perceptual Testing: Occupational therapists use everyday activities and standardized (very specific) testing to determine how your brain is functioning and how able you are to do your everyday tasks safely. They may watch you do a specific task that you are familiar with (such as making tea and toast) or give you a paper and pen test. They will explain the results to you following the assessment.

Complex Pressure Management: Occupational therapists help with positioning in beds and wheelchairs to help prevent development of pressure sores and to help them heal.

Pediatric Assessment and Treatment: It may involve neonatal and pediatric assessment and treatment of abnormal development, feeding and positioning. Pediatric therapy is typically done on an outpatient basis.

Management of acute burns, scar management:  Occupational therapy's role in acute burn management is for positioning of the limbs, making specialized splints, recommending specific exercises to decrease risk of deformity and helping the patient participate in activities.

Facilities and programs offering this service:
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