Occupational Therapists help people of all ages to carry out everyday activities, which are essential for health and wellbeing.
My name’s Fiona and I work as an Occupational therapist assistant practitioner in community mental health teams for old age psychiatry.
The people that we see are usually referred to our service by their GP, through their family recognising that there’s memory difficulties. They’re forgetting to eat, they’re forgetting to call them.
One of the good things to do is by reminiscence. Someone who has a dementia, their long term memory is often better that their short term memory and it can evoke lots of happy times that they remember.
“Hi, I’d like to order a YE06 shower stool please”.
We can have, maybe, sometimes two home visits in the morning, so we’re going to be going in to people’s homes. If the person has a problem getting in and out their bed, a bed lever would be delivered. We can provide equipment for the bath, [such as] a bath lift, which makes it safer for people to get in and out.
You need to be a people person, I think. You need to have a really good communication skill. Not just talking, but you have to listen as well. Sometimes when it’s older people, they’ve maybe not had someone to listen to them for such a long time.
I really, really enjoy meeting people. That’s the thing in my job that I really enjoy. We’re privileged to meet lots and lots of different people from lots of different walks of life. It’s a very, very worthwhile job, very rewarding.