Occupational therapists help people – often those with disabilities or recovering from an injury – do the day-to-day tasks that “occupy” their time, allowing them to better contribute to the wider community. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages and conditions – children, the elderly, those in hospital or in the community – to improve their health and enhance their ability to engage in the activities they want, need, or are expected to do. This may include everything from relaxing in the garden to operating a computer mouse, vacuuming their home or driving a car. OTs may adapt tools, the occupation or the environment to help their clients stay involved. In other words, occupational therapy helps remove barriers to participation in everyday activities.
Occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, day and rehabilitation centres, home-care programs, schools, industry and private enterprise. Some have their own private practice, and work as educators or as consultants.