National Occupational Therapy Week 2018

Thursday 01 November 2018



It's National Occupational Therapy Week 2018, 5th-11th November. We asked Sarah Perry to tell us about her role as the Occupational Therapist in the Day Hospice.


As the Occupational Therapist here at the Shakespeare Hospice, when meeting someone for the first time, I quite frequently need to explain what my role involves and how I might be able to help them as many are unfamiliar with the role of an Occupational Therapist.


In a simple sentence, an Occupational Therapist provides practical support to people to help them overcome barriers that may be preventing them, or making it difficult for them to do the things (activities) that matter to them.


I talk with patients about how their illness is impacting on their daily activities, particularly the activities that are important to them and what difficulties or barriers they are facing that may stop them from doing these meaningful activities. Together the patient and I look at how we can work together to help them to complete or return to these activities, and so establish these as our goals to work towards. 


As an example, an individual might be experiencing a high level of fatigue due to their illness or treatment which can prevent them from doing all that they want to do. To help them to minimise the impact the fatigue can have, and so enable them to complete the activities that they wish to, I can provide verbal and written advice on how to use techniques and strategies to plan, pace and prioritise the activities for their day in turn trying to manage the levels of fatigue they experience.  There are also practical solutions for the home that I can advise on and arrange, which involves the provision of equipment that will make minor adaptations to a persons’ home environment to make it more compatible to their needs. I will also support with providing relaxation techniques to help achieve a balance for the person between doing and resting. I am fortunate within my role that, where required, I can visit a person at home to help put the advice and strategies into action in their familiar environment.


Each person I assist is an individual and so are their needs, so it is important to quickly establish what is important to them, and how their condition is impacting on their life. This requires me to be perceptive and responsive to each person.


No one day is the same for me, which makes my role challenging, but very rewarding.

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Registered Office: Church Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9UL