Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) help you improve your quality of life through many different means. They are experts in the relationship between a person’s everyday activities (or ‘occupations’) and their health & wellbeing.
Maybe you need to increase your independence by developing self-care skills in sleeping patterns, grooming and dressing. Or with household tasks such as cooking, cleaning or budgeting. Or perhaps your independence and dignity could be increased by installing a handrail to make steps easier to manage. Maybe you need specialised equipment to complete tasks such as a sock aid as you struggle to reach your feet.
Whatever your challenge, our OTs are like detectives eager to solve your case and seek out the best solution to make life easier.
OTs and the NDIS
OTs play an important role in a person’s NDIS journey as their reports are very good evidence for obtaining supports in many areas of an NDIS plan. They can assist with getting a support worker to help you get to social groups, assistive technology such as equipment to help you complete an activity you struggle with, home modifications to make daily living accessible or funding for essential therapies such as psychology appointments.
An OT assessment and report is often essential when first applying for the NDIS to seek the correct supports needed.
These assessments are also a very effective way of identifying a person’s goals for the NDIS, as well as helping the client identify goals for themselves that they would like to achieve. These goals may have been previously unattainable due to a lack of support, however, through the NDIS these goals can be more realistic and achievable.
OT reports remain critical for plan reviews and are a great way to let the NDIS planner know how a person has been going throughout their NDIS plan and how their support needs have changed. OT reports are highly regarded due to their wide catchment of information, holistic approach and evidence-based nature.
What sorts of assessments do OTs complete?
Our OTs at PCCS can complete a range of assessments to help with your NDIS plan. They will work with you to determine which ones are necessary. Some of the more common assessments include:
- OT functional assessment
- OT mental health assessment
- OT cognitive assessment
- OT home environment assessment
- OT equipment trialling
- OT basic home modifications
- OT Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Support Independent Living (SIL) assessments.
An initial OT assessment may cover the client’s self-care, household chores and community functional capacity. Other assessments may include sensory assessment, falls assessment, task analysis, wellbeing assessments, and PCCS also offers home environment assessments for clients where needed.
Working with mental or complex health problems
Many of our clients have dual diagnoses, such as a mental health diagnosis coupled with physical health ones. Some of our more complex clients include those of domestic violence background, homelessness and long-term hospitalisation.
Our OTs have identified that in the field of mental and complex health problems, many people tend not to have any set goals. People are living day to day and don’t have things that they’re trying to achieve or things that they’re looking forward to. Goal setting and motivation has a large impact on mental health because it gives the person something to focus on and be motivated to achieve. Motivation is the driver of people engaging in any kind of activity and is what drives people to live their best lives.
So our OTs are focused on helping their clients with not only setting their goals, but finding the best ways for them to achieve this with the best range of supports available. They know what is available, what is reasonable and necessary, and they will advocate to ensure their client receives what is appropriate for their needs.
What’s the difference between an OT and a social worker?
A social worker manages different services and supports for their clients as well as providing social support themselves. Social workers at PCCS play a very important role as NDIS Support Coordinators, which involves managing all client services that are funded by the NDIS. This includes ensuring the services stay within budget, ensuring the services are a good fit with the clients, ensuring the clients have the appropriate frequency and level of support, meeting with clients, explaining what each service provides, completing service agreements, writing NDIS review reports, and assisting clients in their plan review meetings.
OTs at PCCS have a different role. An OT is trained to explore the hows and whys of a person’s function and how it affects their daily life. OTs support clients towards their goals by completing an array of assessments, finding suitable therapeutic interventions and completing relevant reports. Due to the nature of an OTs role, we are given more opportunity to see our clients face to face for our interventions which provides a more personal and interactive dynamic.