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Co-Founder: Supervision Institute St. Thomas School of Social Work. Professor Emerita University of St. UK website for more information on Disabled Facilities Grants. If you need equipment to help you carry out your work, the Access to Work scheme may be able to provide funding. Contact the disability employment adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus for advice and assistance, or see the GOV. UK website for information about Access to Work. You may choose to buy your own equipment rather than use the equipment provided by your local council. If you are going to buy your own equipment, it is still a good idea to have an assessment by an occupational therapist.

They can provide guidance on what equipment is most suitable and advise you on what is available. Rica is a consumer research charity that produces information for disabled and older consumers. All reports are based on independent research carried out by Rica. This includes user trials, technical tests and survey work. Help is also available from the Disabled Living Foundation. This national charity provides free, impartial advice about all types of home adaptation and mobility products for disabled adults and children, and older people.

If you need some equipment on a short-term basis — for example, because someone with a disability is visiting you — your local British Red Cross can often lend you wheelchairs and other equipment for short periods of time. Home Tests and treatments Counselling and therapies Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy See all parts of this guide Hide guide parts Introduction When it's used Techniques and equipment used How it's used for rehabilitation How to access it.

Introduction Occupational therapy provides support to people whose health prevents them doing the activities that matter to them.

Who can benefit from occupational therapy? This could be because they have a: medical condition — for example, rheumatoid arthritis learning disability mental health condition — for example, bipolar disorder Occupational therapists work with people of all ages and can look at all aspects of daily life, from the home to the school or workplace. Occupational therapy techniques After identifying the difficulties a person has with everyday tasks, occupational therapists can help by either: practising the activity in manageable stages teaching a different way to complete the activity recommending changes that will make the activity easier providing devices that make activities easier For example, after a hip replacement , someone may find it difficult to get in and out of the bath.

How is it accessed? When it's used Occupational therapy is used to treat and manage a wide range of conditions and needs. Some of these conditions include those that: are present from birth develop with age are the result of an accident Occupational therapy is also used as part of a rehabilitation programme a treatment programme designed to help someone recover from illness or injury — for example, after surgery or to treat depression. Rehabilitation and recovery Occupational therapy can be used after an accident, illness or operation to help you recover and regain as much independence as possible.

For example, occupational therapy may be used after: a hip fracture — this usually requires surgery followed by a rehabilitation programme to help you regain full mobility a severe head injury — after a severe head injury, you may find everyday activities at work or home difficult, and occupational therapy may help you recover a stroke — you may have some weakness on one side of your body and need to learn new ways of carrying out daily activities an addiction — this can make it hard to stay in work.

Techniques and equipment used Many different techniques and equipment can be used as part of occupational therapy, depending on the difficulties you are having. Some of these techniques are explained below.

Occupational therapy

Thinking about activities differently A key aim of occupational therapy is to help you develop or maintain a satisfying routine of meaningful everyday activities that can give you a sense of direction and purpose. For example, if you are finding it difficult to: peel and chop vegetables — perhaps you could buy vegetables that are already prepared walk to your local shop — perhaps there is a bus that runs past your house, or you may be able to do your shopping on the internet do the ironing — perhaps you could sit down while you iron An occupational therapist will also help find new ways to carry out an activity by breaking it down into small individual movements, and will then practise the stages with you.

If appropriate, the occupational therapist may suggest a special chair. This could be aimed at improving your child's: hand strength concentration social skills Focusing on a small goal, such as improved hand strength, may eventually help your child to hold a spoon, a pencil or dress themselves. Adapting your environment Part of occupational therapy may involve making an environment suitable for your needs.

This could be your home, workplace or where you are studying, and may involve changes such as: putting in ramps, so an area can be accessed in a wheelchair fitting a stairlift installing grab rails — for example, by the stairs or beside the bed providing a raised toilet seat, bath lift or shower seat to make the bathroom easier to use clearing up clutter, reorganising cupboards or providing visual cues so you can safely move around and reach what you need Using special equipment Occupational therapists can also advise about what special tools or pieces of equipment you may find helpful.

For example: a walking stick, walking frame or a wheelchair electric can openers or electric toothbrushes knives with large handles and chunky pens if you have difficulty holding small objects a non-slip mat for the bath a special keyboard or mouse to help you use a computer voice-controlled lights or voice-controlled software on a computer You should mention any difficulties to your occupational therapist, no matter how small they seem, as there may be all kinds of adapted equipment that can help. How it's used for rehabilitation Rehabilitation aims to improve your ability to carry out the everyday activities that have been affected by illness, injury or surgery.

Workplace rehabilitation Workplace rehabilitation, or vocational rehabilitation, means helping someone with a health condition return to work or start working, or enabling them to carry on working.

by Tamara L. Kaiser

An occupational therapist could help by: assessing your workplace assessing your role at work assessing your ability to complete work activities, and finding ways to assist you if necessary finding ways to manage your condition while at work providing additional training finding a way to cope with problems like discrimination and prejudice helping your employers manage your return to work and increasing awareness of your condition monitoring your progress Leisure rehabilitation Leisure rehabilitation could cover any fun activity, such as taking up a hobby or attending social events.

Activity grading and graded exposure One way your occupational therapist may encourage you to return to work or resume your hobbies is with activity grading. The activity becomes increasingly difficult as you gradually reach your goal of walking to work. How to access it You can get a referral for free occupational therapy through your GP surgery, local council or local clinical commissioning group, or you can go private.

In general: for short-term conditions, such as after an operation, occupational therapy is usually accessed through the NHS for long-term conditions, such as a permanent physical disability, occupational therapy is usually accessed through your local council If you are not sure how to access occupational therapy, you can contact your local council and ask if they provide occupational therapy to someone in your situation.

Private occupational therapy If you do not want to access occupational therapy through the NHS or your local council, you could contact an occupational therapist directly.

Users Guide to Therapy : What to Expect and How You Can Benefit

Short-term conditions If you require occupational therapy because of a short-term condition, it is usually the responsibility of the NHS to provide this. Long-term conditions If you have a long-term condition affecting your ability to carry out most everyday activities, you may be able to access occupational therapy through your local council or Health and Social Care Partnership HSCP.


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The criteria may vary slightly between councils, but should include the following points: your needs arise from or are related to a physical or mental impairment or illness you're unable to carry out certain necessary tasks as a result of your needs, such as washing yourself, getting dressed or going to the toilet being unable to complete these tasks has a significant impact on your wellbeing You can contact the social services department of your local council to arrange an assessment or your needs, or you can be referred for an assessment by: your GP or consultant specialist doctor a nurse another healthcare professional a social care professional Assessing your needs An assessor can carry out a health and social assessment to identify what areas of your everyday life are causing problems.

Accessing equipment An occupational therapist can make decisions about what equipment would be most useful to help you live independently. Equipment might include items such as: two-handled cups, tap turners and kettle tippers for the kitchen grab rails and raised toilet seats in the bathroom bed raisers and hoists in the bedroom Read more about occupational therapy techniques and equipment.

Equipment cost If an assessment has concluded you need equipment, it can usually be provided free of charge on a long-term loan. Equipment for employment If you need equipment to help you carry out your work, the Access to Work scheme may be able to provide funding. Buying your own equipment You may choose to buy your own equipment rather than use the equipment provided by your local council.

Sources of advice Rica is a consumer research charity that produces information for disabled and older consumers. Equipment loans If you need some equipment on a short-term basis — for example, because someone with a disability is visiting you — your local British Red Cross can often lend you wheelchairs and other equipment for short periods of time.

Share Tweet Print. Source: Royal College of Occupational Therapists. Delivery of external beam therapy requires a treatment team, including a radiation oncologist , medical physicist , dosimetrist and radiation therapist. The radiation oncologist is a physician who evaluates the patient and determines the appropriate therapy or combination of therapies. He or she determines what area to treat and what dose to deliver. Together with the medical physicist and the dosimetrist, the radiation oncologist determines what techniques to use to deliver the prescribed dose.

The physicist and the dosimetrist then make detailed treatment calculations and quality assurance checks prior to treatment delivery. The radiation therapists are specially trained technologists who deliver the daily treatments. Radiation oncologists use linear accelerators or cobalt machines to deliver external beam therapy. Your radiation oncologist will determine the equipment most suited to your treatment.

The linear accelerator is the most commonly used device for external beam therapy. The equipment is operated by a radiation therapist, a highly trained technologist.

EBT (External Beam Therapy)

The overall treatment plan is created by the radiation oncologist, a highly trained physician specializing in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The goal of simulation is to determine the treatment position that will be used daily, to make devices that will help the patient maintain that position, and to obtain the necessary images for treatment planning. The radiation therapist places the patient in the treatment position on a CT scanner. Masks, pads or other immobilization devices are typically used to help the patient to hold still and in a specific position during the simulation.

These devices will be used for the treatment to achieve the same position daily, so it is important that the patient can maintain that position. Images of the treatment area are taken in the treatment position. The radiation therapist places small marks on the patients to help guide the daily treatments. These marks may be tattoos or colored ink. The tattoos will be permanent, but the colored ink will eventually fade.

Marker seeds may be placed in the target tumor or organ at simulation or during a separate surgical procedure. These seeds or markings are intended to help the radiation therapist position the patient during each treatment session. For treatment planning, the dosimetrist, medical physicist and radiation oncologist use a special computer program to calculate the radiation dose that will be delivered to the patient's tumor and the surrounding normal tissue. The radiation oncologist will determine the volume of the tumor and other areas that need to be treated and outline those on the treatment planning images.

He or she will also outline normal structures that should be avoided or considered in devising the treatment plan. Together, the oncologist, dosimetrist and physicist will generate a treatment plan that delivers the appropriate dose to the tumor while minimizing dose to surrounding normal tissues. In certain cases, this process may employ such techniques as three-dimensional conformal therapy , intensity-modulated radiation therapy IMRT , or volumetric modulated arc therapy VMAT.

Before each treatment session, the patient may be asked to change into a gown. The therapist carefully positions the patient using the alignment lasers and the marks that had been placed on the patient during simulation. Some form of imaging is often used prior to the treatment delivery to verify the accuracy of the patient setup.