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Council Services:

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy enables people with disabilities to carry out essential activities, with the aim of maintaining or improving their independence.

Occupation means any way in which people spend their time from personal care (washing, dressing, toileting) to productivity (paid or unpaid work, housework, education); to leisure (games, sports, hobbies, social activities).

Occupational therapy is not just for physically disabled people. Therapists also support people with learning disabilities and people who have a mental illness or conditions such as anxiety, stress or depression.

Practical help is also offered for people with debilitating conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, stroke, head injuries, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease etc.

Occupational therapy helps you to be more independent in a range of activities; from day-to-day tasks, such as personal care (getting washed and dressed etc); to work (paid work, voluntary work, housework or school); leisure activities (sports, games, hobbies and social activities). Therapists can advise on ways to be more safe, improve your mobility around your home to enable you to prepare meals, get in and out of bed, manage the steps and stairs and enabling your carer to care for you.

Occupational therapists can also help by devising coping strategies to maximise independence for people who have a mental illness, or a learning or physical disability. All age groups can be assisted by occupational therapy, from children with special needs to older people.

Therapist could help, or provide information about:

  • Raising the height of the bed/chair so that standing is much easier if a person has stiff, painful hips and knees.
  • Making a home safer for getting around by the installation, for instance, of hand rails and ramps.
  • Reducing anxiety and helping people raise their confidence about getting around or manage their disability.
  • Information on ways of obtaining appropriate support and helping people to connect to other relevant agencies.
  • Assisting carers to continue to maintain their caring responsibilities.

Financially-assessed grants may be available for major adaptations work.

Occupational therapists are based at local social services offices and at NHS organisations.

For people able and wanting to fund their own equipment or adaptations, advice and information is available by calling 01522 782155 or emailing

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Last updated: 6 July 2016

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