Occupational Therapy Week – participation, inclusion and independence

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Over two years, *Paul’s health had spiralled into a steep decline because of chronic arthritis, which impacted his knees, ankles and hips. He had also developed worrying heart issues.

Aged 86, and a former high level sportsman, Paul’s quality of life was rejuvenated after an occupational therapist helped him to participate in activities that he found both stimulating and enjoyable.

Earlier, Paul’s mobility had deteriorated and he could only walk short distances without experiencing chronic pain. He also had to stop driving due to the poor sensation and pain in his feet.

Following a referral from a GP, Paul’s occupational therapist completed an assessment and encouraged him to reveal he was having difficulty using his shower safely and managing the front steps of his home was problematic. His lack of mobility prompted feelings of isolation and a loss of independence, as he battled to visit local shops and neighbours.

Recommendations were also made to introduce a mobility scooter into Paul’s life, enabling him to regain access to the community. A simple item – a shower stool – was provided to increase safety in the bathroom. Rails were also installed alongside his front steps permitting him to come and go confidently and safely.

Paul’s motivation also grew and he was able to use his mobility scooter to visit neighbours. Playing cards, a former popular pastime, was reintroduced with friends and his weekly diary started to build. He commenced regular trips to the local shops, where he would buy a cappuccino and the newspaper.

More than anything, thanks to the support of his occupational therapist, he was happy that he could introduce activities without relying on the support of others.

If you would like to learn more about the value of occupational therapy, please access the link here.

*Paul preferred not to reveal his name for this article.

Last reviewed October 24, 2021.

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