Occupational therapy is intended to help you with daily living tasks and getting around your home.
Simple items of equipment or adaptions to your home can make a big difference and knowing what is available can help you choose what is best for you. This will help in discussing your needs with one of our Occupational Therapists or even avoid the need for a visit and assessment.
You cab find out what is available online, at one of our centres or from equipment suppliers and service providers.
Advice and information
You can get impartial advice, information and training on daily living aids from the Disability Living Foundation (opens in a new window) . This is a national charity that employs a team of Occupational Therapists who can advise on solutions for daily living. The Foundation's web-based tool, AskSARA (opens in a new window) , is simple to use and produces a report containing useful advice and details of products that might help you. This is impartial advice as the Foundation does not sell products.
Other sources of advice and information (as well as practical help from equipment suppliers or service providers) can be found in the Source Directory (opens in a new window) .
See and try equipment
We have three centres across Dorset where a range of equipment can be seen and tried out. In addition, Occupational Therapists and other staff at the centres can offer free and impartial assessment and advice (you may need to book an appointment to see an Occupational Therapist.)
- The Greenwood Independent Living Centre (pdf, 266kb) (opens in a new window) in Dorchester
- The Hanham Independent Living Centre (pdf, 44kb) (opens in a new window) in Wimborne
- The Disability Equipment Centre, Sturminster Newton. Viewing is by appointment only, please contact (01258) 472652
Our team of Occupational Therapists aim to help you live independently in your own home by offering advice to you, and your carer, on carrying out day to day tasks such as:
- Getting in and out and around your house
- Getting in or out of bed or an armchair
- Washing, bathing and dressing
- Getting on or off the toilet
- Managing the stairs
- Cooking, making drinks and eating
- Caring for a dependent relative
When you contact us, we will get in touch to make an appointment to visit you at home to carry out an assessment. This involves us asking you questions about your daily routine and watching you carry out some activities (getting in and out of bed for example).
After the assessment, you and the Occupational Therapist will decide on the best solutions to your problems. This will be summarised in a support plan that will set out how we aim to help you and who will provide any services needed.
There is a range of possible solutions that the assessment might identify; these are:
- Finding alternative ways of doing things to make them easier
- Provision of equipment (for example, a raised toilet seat to help you get off the toilet)
- Minor alterations to your home (such as hand rails)
- Major alterations to your home (such as stairlifts or extensions)
- Working with our other teams such as care managers or sensory loss specialists
- Working with staff from the Health Service (the wheelchair service, physiotherapists, or your GP, for example)
Cost of the service
All assessments and advice are free of charge. In addition, we may provide some basic equipment such as raised toilet seats and chair raisers free of charge. Where we do not provide equipment, we will advise you on where you can buy it. Minor adaptations to your home costing up to £1000 (such as grab rails or a ramp) may also be provided free of charge.
If your home needs a major adaptation a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) (pdf, 607kb) (opens in a new window) may be available from your local district or borough council. More details are available on our Home adaptations, equipment and aids page.
How to ask for help
If you feel you would benefit from an occupational therapy assessment and you are a new customer or have no current involvement with us, please contact the Adult Access Team. If you currently receive a service from us, please contact your allocated worker at the social care local office.
We have to give priority to those people in most need. To do that, we are guided by our Fair Access to Care Services criteria.