What is an occupational therapist / disability services officer?
An occupational therapist / disability services officer is a highly trained person who is skilled in identifying the physical, psychological and social needs of people. They can then work with you and your carers to find ways of reducing your problems. This can take the form of simple advice, referring you to other agencies, or helping you to obtain any specialist equipment you might need.
Occupational Therapy in Social Services
A high proportion of all referrals to Social services are via occupational therapy / disability services. Demands on the services are high and time is always limited. They do however always try hard to give you accurate and clear information about the services we provide and the best way you can manage your problems. Occupational therapists / disability services officers, will work with you to provide the best and fastest possible service. We try to do this by giving advice, providing assessments, equipment and adaptations where required:
If an occupational therapist / disability services officer visits you, they will look at your particular difficulties and how these are affected by your immediate surroundings. They will look for ways to make your home safer and easier to use. If you have not been visited by a social worker before then the occupational therapist / disability services officer will also look at any other services you or your carer may need. With your permission they will then pass this information to other social workers to begin meeting those needs. For example someone coming to your home to help with personal care.
The problems you may have can often be solved with advice or with the use of equipment. Occupational therapists / disability services officers will try the easiest solutions with you before offering to help with more complicated ones. They will take various things into account, such as your abilities and disabilities, specific physical problems you may have, the needs of your family and/or carer(s) and the suitability of your home. There is a range of different equipment e.g. chair raisers to help you get in and out of a chair, or hoists to move you from your bed to your chair.
Occupational therapists / disability services officers can give you advice about safer moving and handling and can give you information on what can be provided when they visit. However, there is a wide range of equipment on the market and you may wish to buy something yourself. Your occupational therapist / disability services officer can give you advice if this is what you want to do.
Further information on help that may be available if you have a disability and help available to carers can be found in the links on the right.