Occupational Therapy

What is occupational therapy/whakaora ngangahau?

Occupational therapy’s goal is to enable you to continue to participate in everyday activities even when circumstances have made it difficult for you. It could be leisure activities, completing tasks that you want to, need to or are expected to do, or just generally being productive and looking after yourself.

Ordinary, everyday things.

You may need occupational therapy if you experience difficulty completing everyday tasks due to problems with physical or mental abilities. For example strength or coordination, memory or organisation skills.

Environment can also be a factor – how the home is set up, access, level of support.

An occupational therapist/nga kaiwhakaora ngangahau will help you identify the tasks that are difficult and attempt to find ways to make them easier. They will modify tasks or the environment to better support you; teach new ways of completing tasks; support in developing new skills, abilities and interests; and also help you to feel better about yourself, developing confidence in social situations.

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages, empowering and enabling people to participate in everyday life throughout their lifespan.

Occupational therapists help people with:

  • Preparing and eating meals
  • Driving and mobility
  • Recreation and exercise
  • Use of a computer or workstation
  • Showering or bathing
  • Getting things done on time and to a preferred standard
  • Having enough things to do and the confidence to do them
  • Developing supportive relationships/friendships

Occupational therapists work in:

  • Community centres/services
  • Charitable organisations and trusts
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health services
  • Nursing and rest homes
  • Private practice clinics
  • Rehabilitation (under ACC)
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Schools and educational providers
  • People's homes
  • Workplaces