From: United Kingdom
Occupational therapy enables people to maintain their independence through the use of personalised gadgets and adaptations that make life simpler and easier.
Occupational therapists (OTs) assess a person’s needs and make recommendations on how to manage difficulties in the home, with transport or work life.
An OT’s expertise is in knowing the appropriate gadgets, tools and adaptations that will help make your life easier.
Adaptations may include:
- ergonomic cutlery
- kettle tippers
- bath rails
- stair lifts
How do I get to see an OT?
You will need a referral from your GP or rheumatologist to see a hospital-based OT. You can refer yourself, however, to a community OT thought your social services.
If you are having problems getting a referral, contact your local social services and ask for a needs assessment. You are entitled to this under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990.
Your OT may need to conduct a home visit to assess whether any alterations or adaptations may be necessary to help keep you independent.
An OT will assess you by asking you what activities you find difficult – like washing, dressing, cooking or even getting in and out of a car.
They will offer you advice on how to carry out movements more safely to protect your joints and arrange for you to receive some special equipment or adaptations. You will either have these permanently or on loan.
OTs can also provide splints to support and protect joints that are affected by arthritis.
After an initial assessment, the OT will arrange a follow up session some weeks or months later to check progress.
Arthritis Care Helpline
Arthritis Care’s helpline is a free, confidential service, which is open to anyone affected by arthritis. We provide emotional and practical support, and information by phone (in 150 languages) by letter and email.
Is it for me?
Anyone can get in touch. We hear from people who have just been diagnosed; family members who want to know how to support a loved one; people who have had arthritis for some time and are looking for help; and health professionals also ask us for information.
How can I get in touch?
By phone: 0808 800 4050 (10am-4pm weekdays)
By email: Helpline email form
By letter: Helplines team, Arthritis Care, 18 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
We also run The Source, a helpline for young people with arthritis.
What can I ask about?
People contact us wanting to know all sorts of things to do with arthritis, including:
- how to manage pain
- information about specific conditions
- options about medication and treatments
- what exercise or diet might be appropriate
- how to manage on an emotional level
Who will I speak to?
Because every member of our helpline either has experience of living with arthritis themselves (or has very close ties with someone who does), you can be sure you will speak to someone who understands.
The team's extensive knowledge is enhanced further as they are updated on new developments daily. So if there is something in the news that you want to ask about they will be able to help.
What happens when I get in touch?
If you call, write to, or email us you will receive support that is tailored to your needs. The team member will listen and give you balanced information and personal support. If appropriate, they will send you a personalised pack of information for you to read in your own time. You are welcome to get in touch again with any further questions you may have.
How do I know I’ll get what I need?
We pay very close attention to what people say about our service and are always striving to achieve the best standards. In 2005, 96 per cent of people we surveyed said our telephone service was either good or excellent.
Our helplines service has been awarded the Telephone Helplines Association accreditation standard.
(Message edited by disabledkenny1On06/08/2018 13:29 PM)