Functional issues: How Occupational Therapy can help

If you are experiencing functional issues, you may require an occupational therapy assessment which will provide support, equipment and education.

The Occupational Therapist will take a look at the following:

  • Individual: What can you do? What are your strengths? Where might you need some support?
  • Environment: Will equipment or adaptations help your safety and independence?
  • Task: What is it that you need to do, and want to do? Tasks involving taking care of yourself, your home, your family?

Tips: How to look after yourself as you get older

As you get older, moving around in the home or the community may not be as easy as it used to be, you may find it more tiring or challenging.

It may become easy to rely on family, friends or neighbours for help with tasks at home and in the community, such as cooking, cleaning and shopping. It is important that you try to do as much for yourself as you can, receiving help only when you are unable to do so independently, or it’s unsafe.

This will:

  • keep you moving, strong, fit, and independent
  • help you keep a daily routine
  • help you to maintain a sense of purpose and role in life
  • provide social and meaningful interactions and experiences on a daily basis.

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What to look out for and what to do if things change

When you are experiencing challenges at home or in the community, it may be appropriate to use equipment, gadgets and aids to help maintain your level of independence. These items can also assist with managing your energy levels and keeping you safe. For example, a bed lever can help you keep your balance when you are getting out of bed. A seat in the shower or bath can reduce the risk of falls when you are washing.

Sometimes with age, you might experience changes in your cognition – you may become forgetful or more absent-minded. Using visual cues or equipment can prompt you if you are not as sharp as you used to be. For example, having phone numbers written in a large font by the telephone or using alarms to prompt you to take your medications.

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Help and support networks (professional and community)

An Occupational Therapist can be a fresh set of eyes for you and your family. They can look at the challenges you are experiencing and offer suggestions for changes related to you, your environment, or the task. Ask your GP for a referral if necessary.

Haringey Council's occupational therapists can assess you for equipment that may help you lead your life, and prescribe equipment or adaptations which will help you.

Contact the First Response team


020 8489 1400 

See also: Equipment and Adaptations.

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Page last updated:

February 13, 2023