I recently finished my Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and I have been looking forward to putting my skills into practice. I’m now working as an Allied Health Assistant and I often find that people don’t know what I do, or what Occupational Therapy is unless they have had a personal experience with an Occupational Therapist – so I wanted to tell you!
Occupational Therapist’s play an important role in community health and can have a very positive impact on an individual’s quality of life at home and in the community. People of any age can access Occupational Therapy services for a variety of reasons.
What is an Allied Health Assistant?
Allied Health Assistants work with Allied Health professionals, such as Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists, to provide additional support to clients. I am an Occupational Therapy Allied Health Assistant in the Older Adult team at Your Community Health.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapists work with people of any age to increase their ability to participate in everyday activities that they want and need to be able to do.
This could be children who have some delays in their development who need extra help to do things independently, or adults who as a result of illness, injury, disability or age have mobility issues and can’t do all the things that they want to. Occupational Therapists may adapt the activity or the environment to support people who are experiencing some difficulty completing everyday tasks. In the Older Adults team, Occupational Therapists work with clients at home, providing supports to enable clients to live as independently as possible.
An Occupational Therapist will go and visit clients to conduct an assessment. This means that they will work out what the challenges that person is having and will talk to them about some potential solutions. There are so many solutions that can keep adults living independent and active lives for longer. It could be using a shower stool to help them shower more easily, or adjusting kitchen equipment for people who have arthritis and difficulty turning knobs. If they are having problems with climbing the steps to their house, the Occupational Therapist may suggest installing a ramp. There are many varied solutions that are as unique as the person who needs them.
When would you meet me?
Occupational Therapy Allied Health Assistants are most likely to be seen out in the community visiting client’s homes. My colleagues and I often complete two home visits per day, across northern Melbourne. We may come to your home to discuss or trial equipment recommended by your Occupational Therapist, provide education and strategies to facilitate safer participation in everyday activities, or provide information about services that may be available to you.
What is the best thing about being an Allied Health Assistant?
I am still new to my role at Your Community Health, but I enjoy going out to visit people at home and working with them to achieve their Occupational Therapy goals. I enjoy being able to take the time to get to know clients over a period of time and it is very rewarding to see the joy and satisfaction that comes with being able to re-engage in activities that were previously too difficult. Occupational Therapy is such an important profession that can make a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.
If you think you or someone you know could use some help from our Occupational Therapy team, contact us today.