4. Care at home > Social care

Social care

2) The Community Occupational Therapist

A community OT visit

Photo is provided with permission from Nottingham rehab

One of the Community Occupational Therapists roles is to assess and provide help and information about equipment and adaptations to your home. Some of the standard equipment you will need can be supplied free of charge. (There may be a charge for other equipment). In some areas a referral system operates for small personal items which the person or the carer can choose themselves. Occupational Therapy Assistants may visit to give instruction on use of equipment in the home.

Occupational Therapists aim to help the person to be as independent as possible with daily living tasks and support carers to make this as easy and safe as possible. Some rehabilitation in the home may be available short term.

They can offer advice and supply additional rails or banisters at home, external ramps, and assist in the process of applications for major adaptations to properties such as shower rooms or stair lifts. Any financial costs for major adaptations will be discussed with you as well as any home improvement grants. Bear in mind that major adaptations will take months rather than weeks to plan , arrange and install. Some local authorities have guidelines about which adaptations are available. For more information on equipment please see: Topic 3: Practical advice and tips for carers > Equipment on this website.

In some instances the Occupational Therapist may be allocated as your case manager if the person has complicated physical needs. They will then liaise with you and the person affected by stroke to assess need and arrange suitable services.

Occupational Therapists can assist with housing assessments and specialist housing applications. If you are considering rehousing to a more wheelchair accessible property they will assess the need and can visit potential properties for you. For more information on housing please see: Topic 4: Care at home > Housing on this website.

They can also refer to other health, social and voluntary agencies if required. In some areas there are long waiting lists for an Occupational Therapy assessment. Check with your local authority.