October is World Occupational Therapy (OT) month. An entire month dedicated to the appreciation of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) locally, nationally, and internationally. Occupational Therapy Day is at the end of the month, on October 27th, 2019. This year’s theme is the role of OT’s in, “Improving World Health and Wellbeing” for people worldwide. 

To showcase the value of OT’s to patients, read about Judy’s story below:

OT’s approaches to helping and educating Judy, allow her to manage her life at home safely and remain connected with her community and loved ones.

Always an incredibly active and social person, Judy has enjoyed spending time with friends and family, going to her local community center, or visiting a shopping mall nearby. Now entering her early 80s, Judy’s loved ones have grown concerned at her recent decline in engaging in her favourite activities. 

Although Judy still valued all of these things, she had become increasingly worried about leaving her home. Judy suffered a few minor falls in the past few years, one of which led to a minor sprain in her ankle. Since the injury, Judy had begun to isolate herself, rarely leave her home, and as a result, no longer engage in her favourite past times.

Recently, Judy suffered a more serious injury and fell down the steps on her front porch. Although they were concerned for her safety, Judy’s loved ones knew that a senior home is not what she wanted. 

Feeling incredibly concerned, Judy’s daughter learned of the field of Occupational Therapy. An OT worked with Judy and her daughter to enable her to live her life safely at home and increase her involvement in the community. Based on thorough research and observation, the OT created the following action plan:

  • Identified safe tasks that Judy could manage independently and tasks such as heavy housekeeping and shovelling snow that could be performed by family and friends. 
  • Moved the laundry room to the main level.
  • Outlined community resources that helped Judy renovate her home with grab bars by the toilet and bathtubs.
  • Familiarized Judy with the local public transit systems, and online community portals that made social event calendars accessible to individuals from their homes.
  • Referred Judy to a physiotherapist. 
  • Enrolled Judy in a driver’s readiness assessment. 

Thanks to this comprehensive action plan, Judy has now returned to being an active member of her community. Without the help of the OT, Judy would not have had the confidence to return to her active lifestyle. 

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