OT Works! Holiday Hours

OT Works! will be closed during the holidays. 
We will be back to our regular hours on January 03, 2021, when we will be accepting new clients in Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast, Victoria and the Comox Valley.

Our Holiday Hours

Monday, December 20, 2021Open, 9am-5pm
Tuesday, December 21, 2021Open, 9am-5pm
Wednesday, December 22, 2021Open, 9am-5pm
Thursday, December 23, 2021Open, 9am-5pm
Friday, December 24, 2021Open, 9am-1pm
Monday, December 27, 2021Closed
Tuesday, December 28, 2021Closed
Wednesday, December 29, 2021Closed
Thursday, December 30, 2021Closed
Friday, December 31, 2021Closed
Monday, January 03, 2021Open, 9am-5pm

Regular business hours resume on January 03.

We wish you a very Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year! 

Get started with an OT

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Our approach is based on current research and evidence-based practice.

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy, contact us today!

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Vancouver:  604.696.1066 

Victoria250.999.8896

BC RAHA: How an Occupational Therapist can help with home modifications

If you need home modifications to make your home safer for independent living, you might qualify for government-based BC RAHA program.  

What is BC RAHA? 

The BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations Program (BC RAHA) gives financial assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income households to complete home adaptations for accessibility. The program allows seniors and people with permanent disabilities or diminished ability to access greater independence within their own homes. As of March 2021, this program replaces the Home Adaptations for Independence Program, or HAFI. The revised program offers greater opportunity and simplified application processes. 

Who can apply? 

Homeowners, tenants and landlors alike can apply for the program. You may be eligible for BC Rebate for Accessible Home Adaptations (BC RAHA) help if you, someone in your household or a tenant has permanent disability or loss of physical abilities and you meet all the application requirements. 
Please check the eligibility requirements at BC RAHA’s website: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/BC-RAHA 

How can an Occupational Therapist help? 

For some home adaptations, the program requires a completed assessment from an Occupational Therapist (OT). 

A home assessment by an Occupational Therapist can help identify special equipment, design features and ways to make your home safer and more accessible.  

An in-home assessment carefully considers the layout and features of your home with information about your disability or ability loss. An assessment identifies areas that could benefit from changes that allow you to continue living safely in your home as long as possible. Some recommendations may be simple like moving furniture to clear walking paths. Reducing your fall risk is a good start. By removing items that block your walking paths, you can improve mobility in your home without any extra cost.  

Other recommendations may need more effort. You may have to buy equipment or hire a contractor to make home adaptations. This is where BC RAHA program can help. The home assessment findings can be used to assist with planning and help guide decisions and discussions. This makes sure any adaptations made to your home will meet your needs.  

What are the home modifications that require an OT assessment? 

All adaptations will be assessed based on how they address a household member’s permanent disability or loss of ability. If it is not clear how the requested adaptations will help the household member maintain independence in the home the requested adaptations may not be approved, or medical documentation may be required.  

Not all modifications require an Occupational Therapist assessment. Please refer to the BC RAHA’s website (https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/BC-RAHA) to see the complete list of adaptation types and maximum rebate schedule.  

Will BC RAHA cover the cost of the assessment? 

BC RAHA will not cover the total costs of the assessment but will provide you with a rebate of up to $250, even if you do not qualify for the program or do not have any adaptations done. 

Do I need a doctor’s referral to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist? 

No, a doctor’s referral is not required for OT assessments for BC RAHA. 

Why should I choose OT Works? 

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and are skilled in assessing clients for their home modifications with BC RAHA program.  

 
Our OTs serve the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky and Vancouver Island.  To learn more about our services, contact us.  

Image reposted from aztechomeinsp.

How Occupational Therapy can help with social anxiety

With COVID-19 restrictions being slowly lifted, and people starting to get back to in-person social and work activities , some people are experiencing unexpected feelings of unease and anxiety. 

Many people were expecting to be very happy and socially active right now, meeting friends, going to favorite restaurants, or joining that fitness class that they have been missing. But if instead of joy you are feeling afraid, anxious and are avoiding going out, please know that you’re not alone.  Many people are feeling the same way.

According to Anxiety Canada, “Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting between 7 and 13% of the population”. 

How to effectively cope with social anxiety  

The good news is that there are effective ways to cope with social anxiety.  
Here are some good tips from Healthline

  1. Ease back into it 
  1. Visualize situations in your head 
  1. Allow yourself to be scared 
  1. Practice self-care 
  1. Get professional help 

Addressing anxiety is one of many things that Occupational Therapists can help with during these uncertain times.  Our OTs have training and experience helping people overcome fear, anxiety and help them get back to doing things they love. We know that dealing with social anxiety can be overwhelming, but our Occupational Therapists are ready to help you getting back to the activities that are meaningful to you. 
 
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and are skilled in treating clients with anxiety and other mental health concerns.  
Our OTs serve the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky and Vancouver Island.  To learn more about our services, contact us

Additional Resources 

Anxiety Canada: Self-help strategies for social anxiety 

Statistics Canada: Social Anxiety disorder: much more than shyness 

New York Times: How to deal with quarantine-induced social anxiety 

Image reposted from additude.com

World Health Day 2021

OT Works! supports World Health Day and efforts to build a fairer, healthier world.  On April 7, 2021, we recognize and remain committed to overcoming inequities that exist in health care. 

In our practice and beyond, we strive to work together and act beyond borders.  We also support the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (CAOT) which advocates for improved access to occupational therapy services for Canadians.

For more information, visit World Health Day 2021.

Lighthouse and Person with Telescope

Managing Mental Health and Chronic Pain: Resources to Help

Take care of your health.

COVID-19 has been hard on us all. Connect with resources and people to better manage your mental health and chronic pain during these tough times.

We’re here to help.

Our occupational therapists are skilled in treating clients with mental health concerns and chronic pain during occupational disruption.  To learn more, contact us.

Image reposted from heretohelp.bc.ca.

woman working in home office

OT Tips for Working from Home

Occupational therapists recommend a balanced approach when managing your health while working from home.  They consider the physical, cognitive, emotional and environmental demands that affect wellbeing at work.  Here are some OT tips to take care of yourself while working from home:

  • Start by improving your ergonomic set up to address posture.   
  • Remember to take microbreaks.   
  • After work, engage in activities that bring you a sense of calm.   

Building good habits is essential to feeling successful at work.  You can read more on how to improve how you work from home in this article by The Signal.  

Get Started with an OT  

Could you or someone you know benefit from an OT assessment? 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.  

We are here to help after an injury or a motor vehicle accident.  Contact us today!  

Email: referrals@ot-works.com  

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000    

Adult female ballet dancer smiling with other dancers behind her

Sports and Leisure for a Durable Return-To-Work

Practicing dance moves can be a step in the right direction when returning to work after an injury. Sports and leisure activities build skills and endurance that are often transferrable in the workplace.  Our occupational therapists sometimes incorporate sports and leisure activities into treatment plans so workers return to their jobs in a timely and safe manner.  This increases workplace productivity, decreases the number of absences and can reduce worksite accidents. 

How OTs Use Sports and Leisure for Return to Work 

When Melissa Ferguson, OT, first meets with a client, she wants to know, “What are some of the important activities for you in your life?”  She asks her clients why they enjoy those activities.  She chooses to focus on what lights her clients up and gets them excited, even when an injury feels like a barrier to participating.  She uses task analysis to create a step by step breakdown on how to achieve a chosen final goal.   

Through a gradual progression in frequency and intensity, Melissa helps her clients discover what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.   

The Benefits of Sports and Leisure  

Melissa’s clients build up sports and leisure routines before returning to work.  As a result, her clients arrive at their jobs better prepared with skills in stress and pain management as well as community activation and ergonomics

Exercise and hobbies can improve both physical and psychological functioning when they become regular, personalized practices for a variety of reasons.  They allow us to connect with members of our community.  They foster a feeling of accomplishment and confidence.  Sports and leisure also: 

  • develop habits to build structured routines 
  • hone motor skills 
  • prevent and improve back problems, especially through low-stress aerobics like walking and swimming 
  • reduce chronic pain through yoga, Pilates, and strength training 
  • support independent living for seniors and prevent falls 
  • release tension caused by repetitive tasks and desk set-ups 
  • foster mental wellbeing 

Additional Resources 

Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities.  Below are resources you can turn to for more information. 

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 or other injuries, contact us today!  We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000  

Mental Health Week 2020: #GetReal

OT Works! is proud to acknowledge Mental Health Week. We would like to #GetReal and celebrate the efforts of all the healthcare professionals and people who are providing support during this COVID-19 period of occupational disruption.

Our occupational therapists provide clients with recommendations to manage their mental health and thrive. They can help you do what you need and want to do while working with current physical distancing measures in place in British Columbia.

Together, we can get through this period of occupational disruption, encourage healthy coping strategies, and end the stigma around mental health.

Learn More

Canadian Mental Health Association

Facts – CMHA Mental Health Week

Key Messages – CMHA Mental Health Week

Three women sitting at cafe booth. Two of the women high five.

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.

Assessment

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.

Longer-Term Care

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).

Treatment

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.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

ICBC Webpage: https://www.ot-works.com/services/ot-and-icbc-recovery/

Man holds book and sits at desk with raised desktop monitor.

Health & Safety in the Office: Ergonomics

An effective workspace is essential to feeling well at work and wherever else. Ergonomic changes to your workspace promote good posture and contribute to physical wellbeing. They also allow better efficiency with tasks.  Consider the ergonomic recommendations below and seek professional help from a registered occupational therapist if you need more help.

Ergonomic Recommendations

Consider the following:

  • Posture.
    • Are you sitting up straight?
    • Are your shoulders relaxed?
    • Are you leaning forward, creating tension in your back?
  • The height of your chair.
    • Are your forearms horizontal, your wrists straight, and your thighs at a 90 – 110 degree angle at the hips?
    • Does the lower part of your backrest support the curve of your back?
    • Do you have armrests, to decrease the strain on your back and neck?
  • Your computer monitor.
    • Is the top line of text on the screen at eye level?
    • Is the screen an arm’s length away from your eyes?
    • Do you need to adjust the contrast, brightness, or font size on the screen?
  • Your visual needs.
    • WorkSafe BC has a list of information to share with your ophthalmologist or optometrist regarding your desk and computer work.
    • Do you need to lower the overhead light levels to prevent glare?
    • Do you need to move your desk lamp (to the opposing side to your dominant hand)?
  • Your work area organization.
    • Are frequently used items close to you (within a 30 cm reach)?
    • Are occasionally used items within an arm’s reach to you (within a within a 50 cm reach)?
    • Are any rarely used items put away or set further aside?
  • Your phone set up.
    • Do you use a headset or speakerphone to avoid awkward neck positions?
Courtesy of WorkSafe BC

Take short breaks (20 sec. to 2 min.) to allow your muscles to rest between repetitive activities. On longer breaks, stand up and walk around so that you use different muscles than while sitting.  Try basic exercises like these here or here to help you prevent strains at work.

You may find an ergonomic assessment by an OT to help address any issues you have.  Contact us and we will be happy to have an occupational therapist come to you.

E-mail: info@ot-works.com

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000

Resources