How your occupational therapist can help
Updated: 18 May 2013
Occupational therapists are employees of the Health & Social Services Trusts which have a statutory duty to assess the needs of disabled people, including their housing needs.
The occupational therapist will have a thorough understanding of disabling conditions and how disability impacts on a persons life. He or she will understand the role that your living environment has in helping or hindering every day living. Occupational therapists believe in the removal of environmental barriers that constrain the way people wish to live their lives and they promote housing that is designed to help with productive and enjoyable living.
The occupational therapist will normally visit your home to gain an understanding of how your home either helps or creates barriers to your everyday living. They will usually observe the activities with which you have difficulty so as the exact nature of the difficulty can be identified.
Following this the therapist may suggest alternative ways of undertaking the activity or recommend the use of products or equipment designed to overcome that specific problem. If use of equipment cannot solve the problem alone, adaptation of the home or moving to alternative housing may then be considered.
The occupational therapist will be qualified to make an assessment on the best solution to the problems you are encountering and will make appropriate recommendations on the solutions. If equipment is required the occupational therapist will provide it and ensure that you are trained on how to use the equipment.
If an adaptation is required the occupational therapist will recommend this to us, or to your housing association and will then inspect the adaptation when it is completed to ensure that it is adequate for your needs.