Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust Occupational therapists give people back their independence

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Occupational therapists give people back their independence

Occupational therapists from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust community teams in West Lancashire welcomed the local community to Ormskirk and District Hospital with a display in the main entrance to celebrate Occupational Therapy Week 2013.

Occupational therapists help people who are ill, disabled or feeling the effects of ageing. The community teams provide therapy to people across the area to enable them to carry out their everyday necessities such as bathing or cooking, going to work or school, or more pleasurable activities such as carrying on with a favourite hobby or socialising with friends.

Occupational therapy can not only prevent hospital admissions, but also prevent admission to nursing homes. The therapists are able to provide housing adaptations and equipment which reduce or remove the need for daily home care.  For example, 10 sessions of occupational therapy for those with dementia can improve the person’s function and reduce the burden on the care giver. These effects still remain after three months.

Interventions can include: goal setting with the patient to develop a patient specific treatment programme; improving function in activities of daily living e.g. washing, dressing, bathing, kitchen skills, posture and positioning, management of spasticity through splinting and the provision of assistive devices.

Anne, aged 78, saw a therapist after a bad fall in October.  She needed equipment and advice on getting around the house safely, managing daily jobs and preventing another accident. Her self-confidence improved and she is now out meeting friends, walking her dog and enjoying life.

Julie Graham, Senior Occupational Therapist, said: “It has been fantastic telling people in our community about our profession. It has been really inspiring demonstrating how we are able to help people lead more independent and rewarding lives.”

If you feel you would benefit from an assessment from an occupational therapist, speak to your GP, nurse or another health or social care professional and ask them for a referral.

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