Understanding OT

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession that empowers people of all ages to overcome barriers in their everyday lives so they can do more and live better.

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Through solutions created for each individual’s unique needs, occupational therapists help people of all ages and abilities participate fully in society. Helping you do what you need and want to do…they're your best champion!

What is occupational therapy?

People experience life to the fullest through the things they enjoy doing everyday – at work, in school, in their homes, or out in their communities. Occupational therapy, or OT for short, is a health profession that helps you or your family member develop the skills needed for day-to-day activities when these abilities are reduced or lost because of injury, illness, chronic disease, mental health issues, developmental delays, learning problems, the impacts of getting older or other health factors.

How can an occupational therapist help?

An occupational therapist (OT) works with you or your family member to identify and address the problems you may have with everyday activities. Together, you and your OT will find solutions that will enable you to:

  • Maintain function so you can continue to live independently or with minimal support in your home and prevent injuries and complications.
  • Regain skills after an illness or injury so you can go back to your usual activities at work, home, or school.
  • Develop new skills when illness, disability, learning problems or other health issues interfere with normal skills development.
  • Enable the person you're caring for to do as much as they can safely do for themselves.

There are different ways that OTs meet your needs, including:

  • Therapy programs for physical, cognitive, behavioural, or mental health problems.
  • Showing new ways of doing things.
  • Making changes to your home, work, classroom, or rehab unit to make daily living safer and easier
  • Prescribing products that can help make everyday tasks easier
  • Consulting with families or caregivers.

While helping you do as much as you can for yourself, OTs can guide you through the health system and the different community supports and services that may be available to you. OTs are also your best champions, working hard as a group to promote public policy that helps people of all abilities live a full life.

Find an OT today

OTs can make a big difference in your life, whether you need help managing at home, school, work, in hospital or out in the community. Find an OT in Ontario or contact the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists by calling 1-877-676-6768 or sending an email.