Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages whom through physical, cognitive or environmental/social factors are experiencing difficulties with their day to day activities.
Occupational Therapists are high level problem solvers and aim to support individuals to remain as independent as possible, and facilitate the hospital discharge process.
Following an initial interview with the patient and their family/carers to identify previous level of function, and their environmental and social situation prior to admission, further interventions may include:
- Personal care assessment.
- Kitchen assessment.
- Cognitive assessment.
- Functional assessment including transfers and mobility.
- Access visits/ home visits/ follow up visits.
- Provision of appropriate equipment and wheelchair advice
- Liaison with carers, care agencies and community services.
- Complex discharge planning.
To gather information from the patient and/or carers and family to identify patient’s previous level of functioning, environmental and social situation prior to hospital admission.
Personal care assessments (getting washed and dressed)
To identify how someone is able to get washed and dressed, and identify any physical/cognitive difficulties. To advise on strategies to assist and plan what equipment/support may be required on discharge.
It is helpful for a patient to have their clothes with them in hospital.
The personal nature of this assessment is recognised and we aim to maintain patient’s privacy and dignity throughout.
Asking a patient to make a hot drink or a snack in the Occupational Therapy kitchen according to their need, to assess a range of physical and cognitive components and advise on equipment/support that may be required for discharge.
Occupational Therapists are skilled in assessing cognition, e.g. memory, concentration, safety awareness etc through standardised and/or functional assessments.
Functional transfer assessment
To identify how a patient gets from one surface to another, e.g on/off a toilet or from bed to chair. To offer advice on transfer technique and provide any equipment that might be necessary to facilitate safe transfers at home.
This is a visit in which the patient is taken home for an hour or so in a Taxi to assess their safety and functioning at home to assist discharge planning. If it is not appropriate to complete a home visit an access visit may be carried out.
This is a visit completed by the Occupational Therapist to the patient’s home with their permission to assess the environment for discharge planning, usually looking at equipment needs, including safety and space.
A patient will not need to be present however a friend/family member may wish to be present.
The Occupational Therapist will identify and where available through Integrated Community Equipment Services (ICES), issue equipment on loan (free of charge) or advise on private purchase. Where equipment is to be delivered for an inpatient, a family member/friend will need to be contacted to provide access to support the discharge process.
Wheelchairs are occasionally issued on a short term loan if required for mobility indoors upon discharge from hospital. Wheelchairs are not provided for outdoor use but information can be provided by the Occupational Therapist regarding hiring wheelchairs from charity sources.