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Occupational TherapyOccupational Therapy provides the skills for the job of living and addresses the problems that interfere with an individual’s ability to engage in the activities or occupations that are important to him or her.

These problems may be a result of injury, disease, social disadvantage or the environment.

Occupation refers to the activities and tasks of daily life that have value and meaning to a person.

Occupations include:

  • Self-care: activities completed to take care of one’s self; e.g. bathing, grooming, dressing
  • Leisure: activities undertaken for personal enjoyment; e.g. social activities, hobbies
  • Productivity: activities relating to paid or unpaid work; e.g. employment, homemaking

Occupational Therapists are regulated health-care professionals who are specialists in the analysis, adaptation and therapeutic use of occupation. They work with patients and their families/caregivers to maximize independence. Occupational Therapists work with patients to regain and maintain function in daily activities, as well as to prevent dysfunction and promote healthy living.

Currently, there are 75 full- and part-time Occupational Therapists and 25 Rehab Assistants to assist with patient activation and discharge planning in keeping with each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Occupational Therapists focus primarily on assessment and treatment of physical, cognitive, perceptual and psychosocial function.  Purposeful activity is used in their assessment and treatment.   Occupational Therapists may prescribe adapted devices or recommend techniques to promote function or minimize discomfort. Education is provided on an individual basis, for example by providing information to promote safety at home.

Occupational Therapists assist patients to:

  • Learn new ways of doing things, for example, dress with one arm after a stroke;
  • Adapt materials or equipment they use, for example,  build up a spoon handle to assist with feeding;
  • Make changes to their environment, for example, recommend a specific bath chair to improve safety at home.

Occupational Therapists work within a multidisciplinary setting. Occupational Therapist Assistants and Rehabilitation Assistants also form an important part of our team. The role of Occupational Therapy at The Ottawa Hospital is to identify the patient’s capabilities and limitations, and to collaborate with the other members of the health-care team in order to facilitate a safe discharge plan.

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Gervais
Professional Practice Manager, Rehabilitation Services
The Ottawa Hospital – General Campus
501 Smyth Road – Room M-1260, Box 305
Ottawa ON K1H 8L6
Tel: 613-737-8007
Fax: 613-739-6670
Email: rgervais@toh.ca

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