Occupational Therapy Week

Thursday 05 November 2020

Occupational Therapy Week 2 - 8 November 2020

We asked Sarah Perry to tell us about her role as the Occupational Therapist in the Day Hospice.

Occupational Therapy is often a profession and service that is not commonly talked about. Therefore, this week at the Hospice we are celebrating OT week and wanted to share with you what I do as the Occupational Therapist here at the Hospice and to support the OT week theme of #ChooseOT.

As an Occupational Therapist I focus on what people want and need to do on a daily basis. This is different and individual for every person, which is what makes OT so special and rewarding.

Together, we establish what that person wants to do and what they need to do and set these as our goals and, work towards them by looking at what barriers there are for them in achieving their goals.   From this, together we can work on overcoming these barriers which maybe in the form of looking at how someone completes the task to simplify it or to provide equipment to help complete the task safely. I can also advise on how to manage symptoms, like fatigue, that may impact on someone’s ability to ‘do’.  In combination these approaches can help to achieve the person’s goals which can give a great feeling of satisfaction for everyone.

As for all, my role and work has changed since COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic I would see people here in the Day Hospice and work on their goals with visiting them at home when needing to look at equipment, for example.

Due to COVID-19 we have been unable to welcome people into the Day Hospice as we normally would and consequently this has meant a change in how I deliver the Occupational Therapy input.

To continue the delivery of Occupational Therapy I have been completing support telephone calls to people and have seen an increase in the number of visits that I complete to people at home. Visiting people in their own home has always been an aspect of my role that I have enjoyed, as it helps to get to know someone and also aids the problem solving element of supporting someone to overcome the barriers that maybe impacting on their ability to do what they want to or need to do.

However, with the pandemic has come the precautions that need to be taken when visiting, in the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In the beginning it felt quite alien to wear the PPE on visits, as I am sure it felt for those that I was visiting, however over time it has begun to feel like the norm and now an accepted part when visiting, for all involved.

Through the pandemic and all the changes that we have seen, or are currently experiencing, our ability to integrate these into our lives and continue to go about each day to do what we want or need to do reflects our abilities as individuals to be resilient and overcome problems or barriers, something that is at the heart of Occupational Therapy. 

I love being an Occupational Therapist as I can help people to live their life the way they want to live it and it is so rewarding to be able to positively impact someone’s life, as well as being able to develop a strong partnership with the person as we work together #Choose OT.

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