Occupational therapy practitioners can play a vital role in diabetes education and self-management for individuals who are likely to develop the disease as well as those who are already diagnosed. We have the privilege of having an Occupational Therapist working within the inter-disciplinary team here at APSA, Miss Kiran Seeboruth. In this article, she will give us an insight into her profession.
Occupational therapy practitioners are experts at analysing the performance skills and patterns necessary for people to engage in their everyday activities. They can effectively educate and train persons at risk or who currently have diabetes to modify current habits and routines and develop new ones to promote a healthier lifestyle and minimize disease progression.
“The work of the Occupational Therapist is essential to ensure a good quality of life of individuals (ranging from children to the elderly) with various disabilities (physical, neurological, psychosocial, sensory, cognitive and learning) and rehabilitation needs and their integration in the community,” stated Kiran Seeboruth. The specific objective of the Occupational Therapist is to function as an integral part of a multidisciplinary team to enable those whose abilities in productivity, self-maintenance and play/leisure are threatened, restricted or lost due to impairment, developmental delay, ageing or lack of opportunity, to become full and productive members of the community. Occupational Therapists are therefore of paramount importance in the effective operation of the health care, social welfare and education systems.
“The occupational therapy process is based on initial and repeated assessments. The Occupational Therapist together with the person they are working with will focus on individual and environmental abilities and problems related to activities in the person’s daily life,” mentioned Kiran.
Assessment is an essential part of the process. Assessment includes the use of standardised procedures, interviews, observations in a variety of settings and consultation with significant people in the person’s life. The results of the assessment are the basis of the plan which includes short and long-term aims of treatment. The plan should be relevant to the person’s development stage, habits, roles, life-style preferences and environment.
Focusing on programs are also vital. They are designed to facilitate the performance of everyday tasks and adaptation of settings in which the person works, lives and socialises by teaching new techniques and providing equipment which facilitate independence in personal care, reducing environmental barriers and providing resources to lessen stress.