At The John Ford Group, we know that the layout and usability of a patient or customer’s home setting play a huge role in their independence.

But anyone with limited mobility needing adaptations to be made at home is also likely to need additional specialist input…

Enter the occupational therapist.

We appreciate that regular occupational therapy sessions might just feel like another medical appointment to add to the list, but they can be extremely beneficial.

Read on to find out why.

What Is Occupational Therapy And What Does It Do?

Occupational therapy helps patients regain essential daily life skills to become more independent. Therapists help people recovering from or living with injuries, surgeries and illnesses to achieve better levels of functionality.

You might have come across an NHS Occupational Therapist (or OT) during a stay in hospital, or a Community OT. Everyone is eligible for an assessment by the OT service, however, not everyone will qualify for council funding for the suggested adaptations.

There are also private OTs that can help. Some people choose to access private OT services whilst waiting for state-funded therapy, and some people simply prefer to pay for therapy themselves. 

Who Do OTs Work With?

The onset of ageing, injury, illness and disability can mean that ordinary tasks become difficult to do. Occupational therapists work with patients of all ages and at all stages of life.

OTs work with anyone who has a condition that causes pain or disability by helping to strengthen the patient’s muscles and fine motor skills. OTs are also trained to look after their patient’s mental wellness, meaning treatment can be holistic. Through regular therapy sessions, the self-confidence and independence of patients are vastly improved.

Some common conditions that benefit from OT are:

  • ADHD
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Serious burns

Occupational therapists work to make sure patients are comfortable and happy living in their own home and going about their daily life. Through assessing a patient or customer and their surroundings, OTs also identify what equipment and adaptations may be required to suit the needs of the patient. 

What Do OTs Do?

The role of an occupational therapist is varied and dynamic. As well as conducting in-home assessments to make sure the living environment is safe and supportive, OTs can also provide assistance with daily tasks such as getting dressed, cooking and eating or driving a car. 

Beyond an assessment an OT will typically:

  • Establish a treatment plan for the patient. 
  • Demonstrate and help the patient with exercises that should help relieve pain and/or strengthen the associated muscles. 
  • Speak with the patient’s family, and employer if relevant, about how best to care for the patient.
  • Identify particular pieces of special equipment that would be useful in supporting the patient, such as a wheelchair, and help the patient learn how to use them.
  • Recommend adaptations that can be made at home to further foster independent living. 

Occupational therapists also assess and record their patients’ activities, meaning they can support their patients by accurately reporting their needs and progress to any relevant healthcare providers. 

How Do You Find An OT?

Patients and customers can get occupational therapy free through the NHS or social services, but the process can take time. 

Some people choose to pay for therapy themselves. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists lists registered, qualified OTs here.

How Much Does Occupational Therapy Cost?

The cost of regular occupational therapy varies across providers.

Sessions tend to be 60-90 minutes long and can be priced anywhere up to £100. Travel costs are also commonly charged because an OT will see a patient in their own home to both assess and work with them. 

The John Ford Group Adapts Homes For Better Quality of Life 

Working alongside other specialist units and allied care industry professionals, including occupational therapists, we expertly manage the whole process from pre-construction to installation and testing. 

By working with OTs we can ensure all adaptations are made for the greatest benefit to their patients.

Want to know more about how we work with OTs? Call our friendly team today and they’ll be happy to tell you.