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From Dependence to Independence

Adult OT

Initial & Functional Needs Assessment

An initial and functional needs assessment is a comprehensive assessment of a person’s functional capacity to participate in activities of daily living (ADL’s) in order to establish capacity, goals, and treatment priorities. The initial assessment provides the framework on which the client identifies what functional activities are meaningful to them and what activities they want to achieve. In response, the occupational therapist identifies strategies to enhance function through rehabilitation, compensation strategies, and/or modifying the person’s environment.

The Assessments that we use include:

  • Initial Needs Interview
  • Functional Performance
  • Range of Motion Assessment
  • Pain Scale
  • Carer Interview
  • Cognitive Screening Assessment

WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?

  • An initial assessment is conducted in your own home. It involves an interview and combination of assessments as guided by your medical status and functional needs.
  • A Functional Needs Assessment is always conducted in your own home environment in order to assess how you function in your most familiar environment. It involves an interview, performance of functional activities (ADL’s), physical assessment, and cognitive assessment depending on your medical status and needs.


Cognitive Rehabilitation

Cognitive impairment is one of the most frequent chronic conditions in the elderly.

Therapeutic approaches within Occupational therapy are designed to address problems caused by deficits in memory, attention, problem solving, visual processing, language, reasoning, and executive functioning. Interventions aim to re-establish previously learned skills while establishing new compensatory strategies to improve functioning. Patient and caregiver goals may include improvements in decision-making, planning, and goal-management. They may also focus on increased success with activities of daily living, such as completing tasks, keeping appointments, or managing finances.

Treatment methods are customized to meet the patient’s personal objectives, often through the use of awareness training, memory remediation, executive functioning training, and functional task practise. The duration of Occupational therapy depends on the individual.

What is involved: You will participate in an initial assessment of functional fitness and cognitive abilities (cognitive screening assessment) in order to establish your needs in a customized cognitive rehabilitation program.

Brain Re-Training services that will help you exercise your brain to help keep your mind alert and active. Just like you need cardiovascular exercise to maintain your physical health, mental exercise is needed to maintain your brain health.

Our Occupational Therapist will create a custom brain exercise regimen that will address your individual needs and concerns. Occupational Therapy testing is available to help further personalize your workout plan. After determining your current cognitive strengths and weaknesses, treatment is focused on enhancing your mental ability.

Neuro Occupational Therapy helps improve complete mental fitness such as

  • Improve Memory & Attention
  • Enhance Auditory Processing
  • Strengthen Visual-Perceptual Processing
  • Increase Mental Agility & Flexibility


Home and Safety Assessments

Our home and safety assessments are designed to determine the level of a client’s performance in the daily activities associated with self-care, productivity, and leisure. The safeness of a client’s home is assessed based on the client’s physical, psychological and emotional status and their ability to complete meaningful activities. A home safety assessment is designed to help reduce the risk of falls, as well as improve a client’s independence and ability to participate in activities that are important to them. After the home safety assessment, an Occupational Therapist will use the assessment findings and work with the client and family to develop strategies to meet the client’s personal goals.

Some examples of personal goals after a home safety evaluation include:

  • Simple meal preparation
  • Stay safely at home with or without help
  • Complete personal care activities independently or with help

If appropriate, recommendations are made to assist in improving these areas, including services or equipment that may be beneficial for the individual’s progress and safety.
With these assessments, clients can expect a recording of their history along with a initial interview, a functional assessment and functional rehabilitation.


Assessments for Assistive Devices

The occupational therapist makes recommendations for assistive devices and aides to assist the client in resuming their pre-accident activities in a safe manner while providing education on the proper usage of each device to maximize independence.


Equipment Provisions

We will assess you for adaptive equipment and signpost you to the different sources from where you could purchase them. The advantage to our clients is that your Occupational Therapist consultant can assess your needs, assist with ordering the products, and instruct you on the best use of your equipment


Traumatic Brain Injury rehab

Assessment :
The assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury consists of an interview, cognitive testing, and observation. Ideally, an interview with the client’s family and/or caregiver is encouraged.

Treatment :

Our individualized treatment programs focus on our client’s re-learning practical skills needed for daily living. These can include:

  • Gaining independence with functional tasks
  • Communication and social skills development
  • Training and support with activities of daily living (e.g. meal preparation, dressing skills)
  • Goal setting
  • Developing routines and roles
  • Recreational/leisure skill development
  • Education about brain injury

Our goal is to assist our clients in gaining increased independence and confidence, and help them reintegrate into their community.


It is important to understand that when a person has a stroke, nothing happened to the person's arm or leg. The damage happened to a portion of the brain. Because of this, the message pathway from the brain to one side of the body was disrupted. The brain and limbs are simply no longer communicating with each other.

The good news is that the brain can re-organize itself and re-wire the pathways that were disrupted by the stroke. This is called Neuroplasticity. The human brain is absolutely amazing. It can actually learn to bypass the damaged portions of itself and form new neural connections that will help the stroke survivor regain use of their arm or leg again. Your brain can re-learn how to make your mouth move to talk, your legs move to walk, your arm move to reach and your hand to grasp.

So how does this work? It works through trained repetitive movement patterns and repeated functional activity training. Our program focuses on completing certain exercises that combine the movement patterns needed to retrain the brain. It takes time and hard work but it can happen. How hard are you willing to work to regain use of your hand. Remember, you are a survivor of the stroke, not a victim to it.

Our therapist will work with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke.

We can help you:

  • Maximize independence in upper limb use
  • Teach you how to transfer between one surface to another
  • Functional retraining for everyday activities: Having the skills and techniques to be able to complete everyday activities such as getting dressed, eating, and participating in leisure activities and vocational pursuits are important to many people. Your occupational therapist can support you to learn these skills and techniques. If your therapist feels that certain pieces of equipment may be helpful in you achieving these goals, they can also arrange for you to trial different items.
  • Positioning and basic seating
  • Understand and live with the changes to your brain and body caused by the stroke
  • Adjust to living within your home, family, and community
  • Recommend for ongoing carer support to the respective body after an assessment

3 ways to get the most out of Occupational therapy

  • Find a goal you are motivated to achieve. No matter how big or small it may be. Motivation is a key driver of neuroplasticity.
  • Practise without repetition. You need lots of practise (just like athletes) to get good at doing something, but for the brain to really take advantage of learning, practice must incorporate some variety to maximise neuroplasticity.
  • Involve your family or carers. The more you surround yourself with loving family who can support you with your rehabilitation and keeping you on track, the more likely you will succeed.

Eat and sleep well. Getting the necessary amount energy is important to fully participate in therapy, and sleep has been shown to be really helpful in recovery for the brain. If you have sleep apnoea, now is the time to find a solution to it because your brain needs all the oxygen it can get.

Some of the technologies and treatment strategies that we use include:


Mindfulness & Relaxation

Learning about mindfulness and how it can be applied to help greater self awareness and acceptance, along with practical exercises and relaxation techniques to help keep life calm and less stressful.

Benefits of Mindfulness Changes clients relationships to their negative thoughts and feelings

  • Teaches how to step back or distance and decenter from thoughts
  • Decentering also decreases rumination which is at core of most mental distress
  • Reduction in pain/ enhanced coping with pain

Changes in the brain networks that have been noticed after practicing mindfulness:

  • Increased activity in attentional networks
  • Decreased activity in surrounding areas
  • Perception: Increased/ assymetrical activity in thalamus

Other Adult OT Services

The occupational therapist makes recommendations for assistive devices and aides to assist the client in resuming their pre-accident activities in a safe manner while providing education on the proper usage of each device to maximize independence.


Carer / Family Member training

The Occupational Therapist will train your carers or family members to ensure they are helping you safely at home. Whether it be help for activities of daily life, or for completing exercises prescribed by your therapist the OT will ensure you and your helper are well informed about how best the carer can help you with your daily occupations.


Functional independence reviews for ongoing care support

Occupational Therapists are required to review functional independence reviews from time to time, to ensure that your care needs are being met. OT can meet with you to discuss your care needs, and submit any documentation required by your funding body for ongoing care support.


Upper limb management

Occupational therapists are trained in managing a range of neurological upper limb impairments, including spasticity management, strength training, fine motor and constraint induced movement therapy. Your therapist will complete a thorough upper limb assessment with you, and devise a plan for optimizing your upper limb function.


Splinting (typing, writing, resting splints etc..)

Splints may be useful for a variety of issues, including managing spasticity and pain, and using in functional tasks like typing, writing, eating and grooming. Your occupational therapist can complete an assessment of what type of splint may be useful for you, and recommend pre-fabricated, or “off the shelf” splint for you. The therapist will also provide you guidance on splint wearing and maintenance schedule.