Allied Health Professionals Enhancing Daily Living

With occupational therapy you CAN

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How often have we been asked, “What is occupational therapy? Can I refer to you directly? Do you support carers?” We know that occupational therapy improves health and wellbeing through participation in occupation, that we can help people to “live life their way” and we wanted to share what we know about occupational therapy with the public. This blog tells you what we did to share how occupational therapy CAN help you. To get started we set up a working group of occupational therapists with an interest in dementia in Scotland.

Occupational Therapy (Scotland) Dementia Working Group

In partnership with the College of Occupational Therapists, Alzheimer Scotland and occupational therapists from Glasgow, Fife, Aberdeen, Lothian, Forth Valley and Dumfries, to name but a few places we formed the Occupational Therapy (Scotland) Dementia Working Group. We wanted to set ourselves a challenge to bring together interested occupational therapists working within services that specialise in dementia care to give a collective voice to our work and how we can help people who live with dementia.

The first task of the group was to share what and who we are. So what did we do? We designed a postcard.

Our postcard

As a group we have a strategic plan of how to give a voice to our work for the benefit of people living with dementia. We appreciate people need to know what we do before you can ask for our help. The first thing we did for #DAW2016 was design a postcard telling Scotland what occupational therapy CAN do for you and this is what we said:

Occupational Therapy CAN:

  • Help you to use your strengths and abilities to stay active in your everyday life
  • Help you make small changes to make life easier at home, in the community and at your work
  • Advise family and friends on how to support you to live well with your dementia
  • Advise your family and friends on how to look after their own health

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Contacting an Occupational Therapist

If you think from reading this blog you need to contact an occupational therapist we would invite you to ask your GP, consultant or social work department. You can also link to an occupational therapist through your local Alzheimer Scotland service or community mental health team. The College of Occupational Therapists has some helpful resources on dementia and can find them on their website http://www.cot.co.uk or  E-mail: info@cot.co.uk

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What next

As a group of occupational therapists we meet again in the Autumn and this time our focus will be on developing creative ways to share our knowledge on activities meaningful to you, the importance of adapting everyday environments and our role in supporting families as equal partners. We are not sure yet what this will look like although the postcards have been a big hit!

On reflection, we would welcome your comments on:

What else would you like to know about occupational therapy?

We’re interested in hearing back any thoughts or experiences people have had accessing or receiving occupational therapy services and thought this interactive Blog was an ideal platform.

We’re always willing to consider and find new ways of working to help people live well with dementia.

Thank you

From Wendy Chambers and Carrie Milligan on behalf of the occupational therapy (Scotland) dementia working group who include Julie Brown, Sam Flower, Alison McKean, Michelle Dunne, Ruth Gardner, Jacqui Chung, Lynn Dorman and Debbie Scott.

Please get in touch if you would like more information about our work and new group

pic-1-ConvertImageCarrie Milligan, Specialist Occupational Therapist

@CarrieOTmh

I work in older peoples’ mental health the north east of Glasgow covering two 24 bed dementia assessment ward and a functional assessment wards. Main function of my role is the assessment of patients to aid determination of their future care needs either home or a care home setting. Rehabilitation work with patients and family is undertaken to aid discharge planning.

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