Occupational Therapy: Opening the Door to Independence

Come and Meet an Occupational Therapist Next Week!

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) will join with the Bermuda Occupational Therapy Association (BOTA) next week to mark Occupational Therapy Week.

Internationally celebrated, Bermuda Occupational Therapists (OTS) will be talking to the community during the week of April 21st about specialised services that essentially support people to live at their optimum level of independence after an accident, surgery, physical ailment or mental health problem. They are also hoping to encourage students to think seriously about a career as an OT.

At King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), Occupational Therapists provide services that include home and functional Activities of Daily Living assessments, upper extremity strength and dexterity exercises, hand therapy and splinting and helping mothers of premature or special needs babies through education and ‘hands-on’ training, such as baby massage. KEMH also helps patients with adaptive equipment and wheelchairs. There are currently four Occupational Therapists at KEMH who provided over 6,000 patient treatments last year.

At MWI, five Occupational Therapists assist people with mental health issues get back on the road to independence. Programmes include art therapy, vocational rehab, sporting groups and group counseling. The Stronger Living Group, which meets monthly in Hamilton, is designed for young people with mental health problems, helping them to reintegrate back into the community through age-appropriate, community-based activities.

“Occupational Therapists can take patients from being debilitated or disabled and totally reliant on others to independence,” says Kathy-Ann Swan, Director of Nursing & Allied Health. “They take patients on that often difficult path back to independence after a stroke, surgery, accident or mental health illness. At both our hospitals they play a vital role in helping patients return to live safely in their home environment.”

President of BOTA, Yvette Brown, adds: “Occupational Therapy is all about helping people live independently. Both mental and physical illnesses, accidents and surgery can leave someone reliant on healthcare services or family members. Our role is to help them become functional so they can return to their home environments, if possible. It is an extremely rewarding career in which you help people regain lost skills and improve their physical or mental strength. Anyone interested in finding out more about our services or how to train as an OT is invited to the lobby at KEMH or MWI on Monday and Wednesday between 11am and 2pm.”

Come and meet an Occupational Therapist in the lobby at KEMH (Medical OTs) and MWI (Mental Health OTs):
KEMH, Monday, April 21- 11:00am to 2:00pm
KEMH and MWI, Wednesday, April 23- 11:00am to 2:00pm

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