You and Your Occupational Therapist

People who have trouble participating in everyday activities often benefit from occupational therapy.

These activities include what we do every day, i.e., self-care, leisure, education, home management, volunteering and work. You may have difficulty participating in activities due to an illness or disability, or due to the social, institutional or physical environment.

When you see an occupational therapist, he or she will assess and evaluate your ‘occupational performance’. This means your ability to choose, organize, and effectively and safely perform everyday activities.
Following this, together you and your OT develop a plan to improve, maintain, or restore your occupational performance and, your health. The plan may include:

  • training, education and counselling;
  • obtaining aids and specialized equipment (e.g. wheelchair); and/or
  • evaluating and modifying home, school or work environments.

In addition to direct care to individuals of all ages, occupational therapists may also work with groups and communities assuming the role of researcher, educator, manager, consultant, advocate and/or program planner.

Places OTs Work
Occupational therapists may provide services where clients live, play or work. People may also receive occupational therapy in settings such as hospitals, schools, care facilities, community care centres, mental health facilities, clinics, employment and training centres, and private practice offices.  In addition, occupational therapists provide service in many other environments such as the penal system, the military and social services.

Cost of Services
In Manitoba, occupational therapists can work in both public and private practice settings. Occupational therapists in private practice charge a fee for their services, and can be accessed directly by the public. If you are in a hospital, a doctor's referral may be required to access the services of an occupational therapist. These costs are covered by the provincial medical services plan. If you are injured on the job, Workers Compensation may cover the costs of an occupational therapist to help you get back to work. In the case of an accident, your insurance company may hire an occupational therapist on your behalf.