A Quick Guide to Occupational Therapy Services: After A Motor Vehicle Accident
Occupational Therapy For Your ICBC Claim
After a motor vehicle accident, occupational therapy helps clients implement and maintain a sense of independence and balance in life. Occupational therapists focus on how clients participate in daily activities relative to their surroundings. They collaborate with their clients to help them function safely and effectively at home, work and in the community. Community OT is flexible and uses individualized, goal-oriented approaches in rehabilitation and health management.
When to Refer or Contact an OT
When an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia, they are eligible to receive OT services under Part 7 Benefits. Usually ICBC requires a referral from a healthcare practictioner for occupational therapy in order to authorize funding. A doctor may recommend OT services if a client:
- Has not returned to work, school, volunteering or other pre-accident roles.
- Is struggling to care for themselves, their family or their home.
- Is still recovering slowly or not at all, despite other treatments.
Once we receive a referral, we confirm with ICBC to ensure that funding is available. An OT Works! therapist can then reach out to the client to set up an initial assessment. During the first appointment, the OT will:
- Gain an understanding of the client’s pre-injury status.
- Observe the client doing functional tasks in their real environment(s), as well as standardized testing.
- Discuss a collaborative plan for treatment (if needed).
The therapist then provides a comprehensive report to ICBC and other healthcare providers involved in the client’s care. If necessary, further OT treatment may be recommended.
Throughout the process, OT Works! therapists help our clients be safe and comfortable. We encourage our clients to ask questions and take breaks when needed.
Hospital Discharge Program
When ICBC requests an OT assessment through the Hospital Discharge Program, occupational therapists help create a safe and timely transition to home for clients who have been hospitalized after their accident. Occupational therapists assess the need for adaptive equipment, home modifications or home support services such as cleaning services or a care aide’s support.
OT Works! also helps ICBC clients who have not been hospitalized or who have been recovering for a longer period of time by the time of the referral. The therapist must determine if continuous OT treatment is necessary to enable a successful recovery. The assessment usually takes place at a client’s home or their workplace (e.g. job site visits, ergo assessments).
If on-going occupational therapy is determined to be beneficial, then an OT will continue with the client and support their recovery with goal planning, regular appointments and support. Rehabilitation plans are customized for the client’s individual needs and goals. Here are some examples of the services our clients receive and the activities involved:
- Gradual Return-to-Work Planning and Monitoring helps people ease back into their work roles after time-off due to injuries. OTs can provide on- and off-site coaching through education, strategies and coping tools. They organize appropriate assistive and ergonomic equipment and advocate for return to work options with the client’s employer.
- Adaptive Equipment and Mobility Aids are put in place to ensure safety at home and in the community. Examples include adding a ramp or stair lift to navigate multilevel homes or assessing the safety and comfort of wheelchairs for those requiring assistance moving around.
- Exposure Therapy addresses a client’s anxiety, fear and discomfort so that they can actively engage in their community and life again. It is a gradual, step-by-step process that involves safe, accompanied exposure to locations or situations that trigger a client’s anxiety.
- Concussion Management helps people address the symptoms associated with impacts to the head. Occupational therapists provide education about what a typical recovery looks like. They help clients stay active after a concussion without overdoing it and determine strategies to work around the challenges they face.
- The Progressive Goal Attainment Program is an evidence-based program that reduces the barriers of disability by specifically targeting the psychological and social obstacles clients face. Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & relevant and time-based. We have several therapists that are certified to provide PGAP services.
Occupational therapists also provide a number of other services. Learn more here.
Case Studies: Successful Return to Work & Life
Theses three real-life case studies show the difference occupational therapy can make at various times in the recovery process after a motor-vehicle accident.
Get Started with an OT
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.
If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy after a motor vehicle accident, contact us today! We can help you acquire funding from ICBC and answer any questions you may have.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
ICBC Webpage: https://www.ot-works.com/services/ot-and-icbc-recovery/