Occupational Therapy – Providing You With Empowerment For Choice and Person-Centric Care

During Occupational Therapy (OT) Week, Empower is celebrating its amazing occupational therapists and  Amanda Chan reflects on why she joined the profession and the importance of collaborative work and person-centric care.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Working as an Occupational Therapist, I often get this question, “What is occupational therapy?”.  The World Federation of Occupational Therapy defines Occupational Therapy as below.

“Occupational Therapy is a client-centered health profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation… to enable people to participate in activities of daily life… by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.” WFOT, 2012.

While many other people in the health industry are involved in the diagnosis of diseases, the occupational therapist’s role is about collaboratively setting and achieving meaningful goals.

Amanda explains, “Whether it be helping a person with selecting a chair that can help them stand because they have difficulty standing from their couch or introducing a person to a bath lifter to help them enjoy a bath again, I always feel a sense of satisfaction when seeing the joy on people’s faces as they successfully engage in these simple yet meaningful activities again.

Throughout my training as an Occupational Therapist, we are taught that engaging and participating in meaningful activities provide positive benefits to a person’s feeling of wellbeing.”

Many occupational therapists work with people who have an illness, have a disability or recovering from an injury, and there is a high degree of sensitivity and respect for humanity that is required for this profession.

“Being able to support people of all abilities to engage and participate in what is important to them is my motivation to be the best that I can be. I enjoy working together with the client to create a treatment plan that is meaningful and reflective of their functional and independence goals, be it a leisure activity like knitting, self-care activity such as having a shower safely or a productive activity like preparing their own meals.”

Meaningful Goals and Working Together

“The person who seeks her services is the expert in their lives. They know what is important for them and what is meaningful to them, and from there, they can work together to form goals and work towards those goals together.

At Empower, we recognise the importance of collaborative work. Cooperating and working together with other professionals, families, caregivers and consumers are important with helping consumers achieve their meaningful goals with a holistic approach.”

Therapy activities provided by Occupational Therapists can include;

  • teaching new techniques to complete the activity
  • relearning tasks included in completing activities
  • providing equipment to assist with completing activities or
  • modifying an environment to enable a person to engage in the activity.

All these can facilitate independence, reduce environmental barriers and provide resources to facilitate a sense of well-being.

Promoting Choice

Health care is becoming more person-centered where consumers are encouraged to make informed choices to better support their needs and well-being.

“With the rollout of the NDIS and the new aged care standards, I can see more relevance in the new health care focus in relation to occupational therapy. There is a shift in health care to promote choice, dignity and respect for consumers.

For example, consumers using NDIS funding have access to services based on goals set by consumers together with the support workers. Looking at the new aged care standards, the new standard of care to be provided to older adult consumers in community and in aged care residential facilities is centralised around maintaining a consumer’s choice, dignity and respect.

This resonates with occupational therapist’s core values where the consumer is the expert of their lives and services provided to them should include their choice in all matters to enable consumers to live life to the best of their abilities. This shift empowers consumers to take charge of their own lives and to be able to make more choices to support their health and well-being.”

Author – Amanda Chan, Occupational Therapist at Empower.


About Empower

We Change Lives

At Empower Healthcare, we deliver life changing allied health services. Our whole team is dedicated to building and delivering exceptional services for clients, loved ones, referrers and partner organisations.

Our therapists genuinely care about the people we work with and take the time to build strong relationships that holistically improve social, physical and mental well-being.

We are a successful privately owned and operated organisation that continues to experience significant growth, driven by our fantastic services and family of professionals.


How can I find an Occupational Therapist?

  • We have an amazing team of therapists
  • Comprehensive coverage across Metropolitan Melbourne, Mornington and Geelong
  • Responsiveness is our allied health home care service guarantee
  • Services available to residential aged care organisations
  • Friendly and professional staff


Call our friendly team on PH: 9583 1364.


Learn more on how our Occupational Therapists can help you