The Coronavirus and Occupational Therapy

The Coronavirus and Occupational Therapy

There is absolutely no denying that the restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus are going to be challenging from all perspectives but I like to think that every cloud has a silver lining, so bare with me for a bit:

  • As a working mum, I always feel guilty that the time I spend with my kids isn’t quality - the amount of times I say, ‘in a minute’ or ‘I’m just…’ This isn’t because I’m a bad parent, it’s because I have to do other things - cook, clean, balance work with school hours etc. Self-isolation (whilst challenging) does at least provide extra time, so maybe now I will have time to teach my son (who isn’t neurotypical) to do up laces and get dressed in the right order, because Goodness only knows, I don’t have time to do this in a typical working week.

  • I don’t think I’m alone in this - at work, I speak to parents everyday who tell me, for example, they get their children dressed for school because if they don’t, they’re late for work or the sibling is late for school.

  • So, as an Occupational Therapist and a parent of two children (one of whom isn’t neurotypical) I want to not only get through the Coronavirus pandemic, but use any extra time it creates productively. I think this will also be good for mental health, as in a time where everything feels out of control and we potentially lose huge amounts of productivity and leisure time, we can at least feel as if we’ve achieved something and kept control of some things in our lives.

The role of Occupational Therapists (OTs) is to support individuals with recovering, maintaining and improving functioning, so as a profession, we are superbly placed to help individuals and families maintain function during this difficult and unprecedented time.

At Open Arms Support Services, we are going to try to use all of our OT knowledge to produce information sheets on what we consider to be the biggest barriers to functioning during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Open Arms Support Services works mainly with children and young people and so the information that we will be providing is mainly aimed at this client group. However, lots of it can be transferred to other populations too.

Please let us know if there is anything that you want advice on. We’re contactable via Face Book, email or the website and the details of these are at the bottom of the page.

Over the next few days, the Open Arms OTs will be posting advice and information on topics such as:

  • Routines and balancing productivity, leisure and self care tasks;

  • Motor skills and exercise;

  • Emotional well-being, phobias and social anxiety;

  • Returning from self-isolation and it’s potential challenges;

  • Sleep hygiene;

  • Managing sensory processing needs.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps people. Please get in touch if you want any OT advice during this challenging time.


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