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Is occupational therapy the right fit for me?

26 September 2023

What is the benefit of occupational therapy and do I need it? Our Occupational Therapy Manager Jenni French explains the answer to these common questions.

What is occupational therapy?

St John of God Health Care is home to more than 100 occupational therapists who can support and help you reach your recovery goals and participate in everyday activities after surgery, injury or illness, or to help you manage your condition or disability.

What do occupational therapists do?

We work across a broad range of areas, including rehabilitation, mental health, paediatrics, palliative care, disability and community services. We team up with other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, psychologists, speech therapists, podiatrists, social workers, dietitians, pastoral care workers, nurses and doctors, to help you achieve optimal physical, social and mental health.

Our focus is on empowering you to be independent by giving you the tools and skills you need to take care of yourself and engage in meaningful everyday activities and tasks.

How occupational therapists can help you:

We may look at:

  • your thinking, planning and sequencing of tasks
  • the movement and use of your limbs
  • your balance and mobility

Our focus is on how these things impact your ability to manage your daily life tasks (such as showering, dressing and toileting) and support you in returning to completing these tasks independently and safely.

In the hospital setting

Occupational therapists may assist you after a major surgery such as orthopaedic surgery (for example, hip or knee replacements), or after a brain injury (such as stroke), enabling you to regain your functional and motor skills so you can resume your life in the community, reducing the time you spend in hospital.

We offer occupational therapy at many of our hospitals. Find out where.

In the community setting 

In the community, we may assist with home modifications to enable a safe discharge from hospital and to support you at home, or if you’re dealing with mental health issues, we may look at how issues are affecting your everyday life and relationships. We’ll identify changes that we can make to your routine or strategies to help build your confidence or self-esteem, enabling you to move on and thrive.  

In the disability setting

At St John of God Accord, occupational therapists may help you build skills for independence, to enable meaningful participation in the community and group activities. We may also prescribe specialist equipment and environmental modifications to assist you in moving around your home.

The patient-centred approach

At St John of God Health Care, we are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box to enable solutions for our patients. For example, we’ll use our hydrotherapy pool as part of our mental health program and use robots to achieve patient goals in our stroke recovery.

Whatever solution we recommend for you, the focus will always be on your recovery goals and setting you up for success.

Photo of Jenni French, Occupational Therapy Manager at St John of God Midland  Public and Private Hospitals
Jenni French - Occupational Therapy Manager

Jenni joined St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals before it opened in 2015. She was initially part of the commissioning team that set up the occupational therapy service and patient equipment centre at the hospital before transitioning into the Occupational Therapy Manager role when the hospital opened its doors, holding that role ever since.

Jenni is passionate about occupational therapy and the difference it makes to people’s lives.