Helping patients live independent lives

Posted on Mon, 03/07/2017 by Louise Leonard, Occupational Therapist

Louise Leonard Occupational Therapist

My role within the hospital is working with the older person’s team as an occupational therapist (OT).

The role of an OT involves providing support and rehabilitation to people, to help promote and maintain their level of independence and complete daily tasks which are meaningful and purposeful to them. Day-to-day occupations can include activities such as washing and dressing, cooking, gardening and shopping.

"Working with patients to achieve their goals" 

As a team, we identify patients who would benefit from OT input. Once a referral has been received the OT works together with the patient to establish their goals and make a plan for how they can be achieved.

This may require teaching new techniques, such as energy conservation techniques to enable individuals to carry out the activities they want to do without being as short of breath.


OTs also look at the mental well-being of patients and may offer relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene programmes. OT’s look closely at a patient’s cognitive ability and how this may affect their ability in performing daily occupations, an example of this could include carrying out a kitchen assessment with a patient.

"Within my job no day is the same"

Sometimes an OT may need to assess the patient’s home environment to identify any potential risks in carrying out daily occupations and to make sure the environment is safe and meet patients’ needs before discharge. For example, assessing the type of access into a house would enable the individual to access their house more safely.

Within my job, no day is the same, as every individual has different needs and values of what is important to them.  I work with a great team of professionals who are passionate about promoting independence. I feel very privileged to work as an occupational therapist within this trust, as I find my job very rewarding as I help enable people to live their life as independently as possible.

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