When the time comes to choose new medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or hoist, there are a small number of healthcare professionals that can provide guidance on the best technology for a client’s specific needs. One of these healthcare professionals is an occupational therapist, who is able to recommend medical equipment and rehabilitation technology that helps a person with injury or illness to partake more in everyday activities. Choosing the best medical equipment for a client requires an understanding of the person’s strengths, weaknesses, situation and needs. An occupational therapist’s role is to do just this, which is why they are sometimes the best people to help carry out a wheelchair assessment. Here’s more on the role of occupational therapists in wheelchair assessments.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist (also known as an OT) is a healthcare professional that supports those with both physical or psychological restrictions to live a fulfilled life with as much independence as possible. OTs, visit those with injury or illness to find out how their ability to carry out everyday tasks has been affected, and provide advice on the things they can do to relieve pain, as well as doing more to help them live a satisfying life. Occupational therapists will get to know a client on a deeper level so that they can provide a bespoke programme that improves the client’s overall lifestyle. The specific actions taken by an occupational therapist may include:

  • Carrying out an evaluation of a client, their daily activities and their needs
  • Developing a customised plan that sets out action points to help the client work towards their goals
  • Recommending equipment that can help give the client more independence
  • Keeping up to date with documentation and equipment laws
  • Training family and friends of the client on how to use equipment safely
  • Measuring the results of the customised programme to ensure it is working successfully, and amending the programme if it is not working as well for the client as hoped

How can Occupational Therapists help those with illness or injury?

An occupational therapist will first get to know a client and assess them based on their injury, desires, lifestyle, and the things they want to be able to achieve. Once an OT knows more about the client and their needs, they are able to produce a customised plan that works towards improving client autonomy. Occupational therapists can help those with illness or injury to socialise more, participate in activities that they perhaps struggled with previously and overall live a more meaningful life. 

What is the role of Occupational Therapists in Wheelchair Assessments?

Because occupational therapists get to know their clients and their needs so well, they are able to provide recommendations on wheelchairs, mobility systems and other complex rehabilitation technology (CRT). OTs know how important it is for their client to be able to have independence and get involved with everyday activities, which is why they can consider all aspects of the client’s life while helping to choose a wheelchair. Occupational therapists have the knowledge and expertise of specific equipment and its role in providing rehabilitation to clients with a range of illnesses or injuries. 

When the time comes to provide guidance and advice for wheelchair assessments, occupational therapists will be able to find something that meets the needs and goals of the client and are also able to provide expertise on documentation, policies and applying for certain schemes or passes. OTs will also be able to provide advice and information to the families and carers of the client, such as safe use of medical equipment, documentation requirements and more. An occupational therapist will ensure the client and their family/carers know exactly how the customised programme and equipment will help the client to live a more satisfying life. 

Momentum Healthcare: Ireland’s Leading Wheelchair Experts

Momentum Healthcare is Ireland’s leading wheelchair expert, providing a variety of both powered and manual wheelchairs that suit a range of lifestyle requirements. Our experts can help to assist clients in finding the best wheelchair for them and their goals, alongside occupational therapists who can talk to our team about the best equipment for their clients. We work with both individual clients and occupational therapists to choose a wheelchair that allows the client to have more independence and achieve their goals. Whether you are looking for something compact or something larger ready to tackle rugged terrain, we have something for everyone. Find our products online at https://www.momentumhealthcare.ie/ or contact us through info@momentumhc.ie today.