The Occupational Therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of the individual’s ability to safely and productively function within their work environment. The therapist takes into consideration the relationship between the person (ie. physical, social, cognitive status), their environment (ie. work), and their occupations (ie. work duties/tasks), in order to improve their function at work. Recommendations from the assessment may include education, body mechanics, adaptive equipment/assistive technology and/or job site modifications.
Physical Demands Analyses (PDA)
A PDA is often conducted in preparation for an individual’s return to work following an injury or illness. The Occupational Therapist objectively outlines the physical requirements of a particular job/occupation. The assessment includes an interview with the employer/direct supervisor, observation and measurement of the job and equipment/materials used. Photographs are often included to assist with the clarity of the written report. These assessments can be used to help coordinate a safe, successful return to work.
Return To Work Programs (RTW)
The Occupational Therapist assists in facilitating a safe return to work for an individual. A PDA can provide useful information to the therapist when creating the RTW. The Occupational Therapist meets with the employee and employer to clarify the individual’s work duties, as well as their pre-accident/pre-disability work status. The therapist maintains communication with the individual’s Physiotherapist and/or Physician to determine their physical status in relation to their work duties. The therapist will then outline a gradual return to work schedule, taking into consideration any recommendations from the Physiotherapist and/or Physician. Prior to the initiation of the outlined RTW, it is recommended that all parties involved review and consent to the program. During the RTW, the individual will be asked to complete weekly status reports to maintain close monitoring of their progress and identify any potential barriers.
Universal Design & Accessibility Consultations
Universal Design refers to the principle of creating buildings and environments that are accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities. Key Steps can work in consultation with home builders, architects, and designers to ensure that the principles of Universal Design are incorporated into their buildings and environments.
Functional Home Assessments
The Occupational Therapist conducts a thorough assessment of the individual’s ability to function within their home environment. The therapist takes into consideration the interplay between the person, their occupations/roles (ie. self-care, productivity and leisure), and their environment (ie. home). An evaluation of the individual’s ability to complete self-care and home management tasks is conducted, as well as an assessment of any barriers that may be affecting the individual’s ability to return to their activities of daily living. When appropriate, recommendations including education, adaptive equipment and/or environment modifications, are made in order to improve/increase one’s functional status and level of independence.
Hospital Discharge Planning/Coordination
The Key Steps Occupational Therapist will work in conjunction with the hospital staff (Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Social Worker, Home Care Coordinator, Physician and Nurses) to coordinate an individual’s safe return to their home environment. This may include implementation of hospital recommended equipment and/or home care services. A Functional Home Assessment is often useful once the individual is discharged to their home environment.
Wheelchair and Seating Assessments
The Occupational Therapist assesses the individual’s need for a wheelchair. This includes the person’s physical/functional status, skin integrity issues, cognitive status, and the environment in which the wheelchair will be used. The method of propulsion will also be taken into consideration. Measurements of the individual will be conducted to ensure the proper size. Whenever possible, equipment trials will be coordinated as part of any wheelchair recommendations. Specialized assessments for power mobility devices are also available.
Impairment Assessments are conducted by the Occupational Therapist to provide objective data regarding a specific physical impairment following an injury or illness. Measurements and information regarding range of motion, limb length, muscle bulk, sensation, scarring and disfigurement can be provided.