In Counties Manukau Health, occupational therapists work with people of all ages who experience practical problems associated with living with physical and/or mental illness, injury or disability. This includes, but is not limited to:

Acute Allied Health for adults with arthritis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or following orthopaedic or other surgical procedures

Assessment Treatment & Rehabilitation (AT&R) Unit for adults and older adults with a variety of aging conditions including many patients following injury secondary to a fall, joint replacements, and neurological disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Click on the following links for AT&R services - Services for Older People, Stroke Service, Needs Assessment & Service Co-ordination, Community Based Rehabilitation Team

Hand Therapy for children and adults with injuries to their hands and arms

Community Health Services occupational therapists provide an assessment of occupational performance in the client’s home. Intervention may include teaching new ways to carry out daily living activities, housing alterations, adaptive equipment and education about living with a chronic illness.  Bases are located at Howick, Papakura, Pukekohe and Orakau Road. Clients are accepted to the service who are over 18 years, if they have a disability usually lasting for a minimum of 6 months, or ACC for the first 6 weeks only.  We assess seating level 1 and 2 only. Level 2 and 3 seating should be referred onto mobility solutions.

Kidz First Child Development Service for children with developmental disorders (e.g. attention deficit disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, sensory processing disorders), serious illnesses and injuries

Mental Health Services  occupational therapists in mental health can be found in a range of practice settings including: Community Mental Health teams, Intensive Community teams, Inpatient services, Rehabilitation accommodation, Maternal Mental Health, Early Psychosis Intervention, Child and Youth, Older People and Cultural Services.

National Burns Centre for adults and children with burns. 

Renal Service occupational therapists provide an assessment of occupational performance in the client’s home. Intervention may include teaching new ways to carry out daily living activities, housing alterations, adaptive equipment and education about living with a chronic illness.

Spinal Unit for adults with injuries or diseases of the spine. Groups in physical health may include education groups related to health conditions, or children's therapy groups.

Examples of intervention include facilitating opportunities for the person to:

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Occupational therapists are registered health professionals. Their goal is to help people live independent, productive and satisfying lives. Occupational therapists enable people to regain lost abilities or to develop new skills and interests. Mental illness and physical illness and disability can impact on a person’s ability to involve themselves in the things they like to do and need to do to make their lives meaningful and satisfying – these are a person’s occupations.

They do this by helping people to develop, relearn, or maintain daily living and work skills. Occupational therapists also help caregivers, families, friends, teachers, and employers to understand and learn how to support individuals with disabilities, so that he or she can maintain or increase their independence. The word "occupation" in occupational therapy refers to the activities and tasks that we do every day. Occupational therapists assist people to perform activities of all types, ranging from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking, and eating. 

Occupational therapists may work with a person and their family to address their work, leisure and self care needs. This may include developing habits, routines, skills and resources so that a person is living the life they want to in the environment of their choice.

Working with people in groups is a good way to assist them to achieve their goals.  Groups in mental health services may include:

  • creative expression and art
  • recovery planning groups
  • practical skills groups
  • family support
  • social/leisure groups and psycho education
  • exercise.

People are selected for groups that they are motivated to attend and which match their needs and goals:

  • develop performance components (e.g. cognition, memory, concentration, coping skills)
  • find new meaningful occupations
  • enhance the knowledge and the support resources for clients, families and communities
  • anxiety and stress management
  • develop leisure, social and communication skills
  • use community resources, and become involved with community agencies.

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