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What is occupational therapy? A quality of life guide

What is occupational therapy? A quality of life guide

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Over the past several decades there has been an enormous shift in the way we see assistance for those who require more regular support for day to day tasks.

With a number of different services arising to provide this help from a variety of angles and professions, however, it can sometimes be difficult to know which services are going to be the most viable for any given situation and what options are going to be the most relevant for any given person.

This is a space in which occupational therapy often sits, as a service that is required for maintaining the quality of life of many people across the globe, yet one that is regularly misunderstood even by those who may benefit from it.

Today, we're going to take a quick look at occupational therapy and try to better understand its benefits, its goals, and why it's necessary as a service.

So, what is occupational therapy?

In short, occupational therapy, or OT, is a degree-based service aimed at providing daily support for meaningful tasks.

Rather than focusing on a particular facet of a person's life, occupational therapists tend to take a more holistic look at the lives of individuals, and even communities, to find ways to improve their quality of life through a variety of methods that will be catered to their specific situation and needs.

From hobbies to activities, passions and pastimes, an occupational therapist looks to provide insights into ways in which these things can be taken on more easily and safely.

Who benefits from occupational therapy?

Just as there is no specific method for providing this service, there's also no single type of person that will benefit most from occupational therapy. An occupational therapist will aim to understand any current limitations you may have and assess what can be done to help you maintain a meaningful life, whatever that means for you as a group or individual.

Because of this, receivers of occupational therapy tend to come from an expansive array of backgrounds and will have their own reasons for using it.

With all that said, in a more nebulous sense, everyone benefits from occupational therapy. With OT's aim of supporting people in their endeavours and helping them maintain the hobbies and activities that they find meaningful, it allows more people to take part in community and social events that may have otherwise been unable to due to various limitations.

Therefore, even on an individual level of support, the role occasional therapy plays is an important one for communities and organisations.

How much does an occupational therapist cost?

As with most care professionals, occupational therapists work in both the public and private sectors, and will therefore vary considerably in their prices and approach to payment.

Many providers are covered at least in part by government schemes, such as the NDIS or Medicare. Because of this change from therapist to therapist, it's important that you sit with them to understand their pricing structure before choosing a provider and find a situation that works best for your particular needs or the needs of those who require care.

Where do occupational therapists tend to operate from?

Practically any space in which individuals or groups may require ongoing care is a space in which occupational therapists may operate.

From hospitals and medical centres to schools and community hubs, there are a variety of spaces in which people providing OT services can be found. If you're curious, it may be worth speaking to your local medical provider, or your school, and seeing if these services are offered.

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Whilst occupational therapy is a fantastic service that allows people a personalised approach to their own quality of life, it's one that a lot of people still aren't entirely aware of.

So, if you or a loved one requires support in these matters, we hope that this short article has provided a framework in which to understand the meaning of this valuable profession.