Opportunity + Choice = Justice
Every year on October 27, World Occupational Therapy Day is observed. This year the theme was "Opportunity + Choice = Justice". As occupational therapists, we believe individuals have rights to get engaged in meaningful occupations that contribute positively to their own well-being.
Every person with different ability has the right to do their daily activities. We should have given them opportunities to do it. Then we need to replace them into their actual work according to their capabilities.
According to Wilcock & Townsend (2000), occupational justice is the right of every individual to be able to meet basic needs and to have equal opportunities and life chances to reach toward her or his potential.
When a person has disability that time s/he faces some limitations in her/his daily works. So, the employment level may decrease. In this situation, occupational therapists play a great role to increase a person's empowerment.
What functional problems may arise? Difficulty to perform in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADL has three arenas:
Self-care: Self-care means own daily work like bathing, eating, grooming, cleaning, etc. People who have limitation in physical abilities they have difficulty to do their daily work. They are dependent to their family members.
Productivity: When a person is unable to do their daily works, s/he cannot continue job. Students have difficulty to continue their study. People's productive life may hamper in every step. Then they suffer from mental diseases like anxiety, depression, bipolar mood disorder, etc.
Leisure: Leisure is one type of relaxation. It fresh our body and mind. While, some people like to watch television, some like to listen to songs and some feel happy at gardening. Leisure may vary from person to person. People with disability cannot do their leisure activities due to physical problem.
What occupational therapist do? Mainly occupational therapists work for the patients' independence in their daily lives.
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to rehabilitate the patients physically and psychologically. Occupational therapists work for increasing person's empowerment, motivation and hope which are very important to do their daily activities. Occupational therapists ensure the persons empower into their own occupations and help to fully participate to their office works.
Occupational therapists work for all ages who have difficulties. They play following role to rehabilitate the patients:
• Facilitating independence in ADL's like eating, dressing, grooming, etc.
• Increasing memory by cognitive retraining
• Increasing social skills
• Providing sensory integration therapy
• Working to improve children's development skill
Many occupational therapists are needed all over the country. Only a few are are working in government hospitals. So, the government should increase the post of occupational therapists in every government hospital in all Districts.
The writer is an Occupational Therapist. E-mail: email@example.com