Adult Social Care - Remaining Independent

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists help people to find solutions when daily activities that they need or want to do become difficult.

An occupational therapist can:

  • Provide advice on easier ways of carrying out daily tasks to remain independent.
  • Assist with modifications to allow people to remain in their own homes.
  • Enable people to regain independence following disabling illness or accident.
  • Set goals that enable people to regain their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Refer you to other services that can help – for example, physiotherapy.

Accessing the Service

You can be referred to the occupational therapy service via your GP, a Social Care Worker, a district nurse or any other health professional. Alternatively, yourself, your family or a friend can refer you by completing a self-referral form. 

On receipt of your referral form a trained member of the occupational therapy team will telephone you to discuss your needs.  We are used to talking about daily activities and the difficulties you may be experiencing.  If you have completed the form on behalf of someone and they wish you to discuss their issues with us please ensure your contact details are given either on the form or on an additional piece of paper.

In some cases we will offer advice, inform you how to obtain simple pieces of equipment or who to go to for minor adaptations, e.g. grab rails, that meet your needs.  You may be directed to other appropriate professionals and agencies.  We work closely with many local businesses, voluntary groups and organisations.

If your needs are more complex and we are not able to resolve them over the telephone, your case will be allocated to an Occupational Therapist (OT) or Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), who will arrange to visit you at home.

There may be a delay before your case is allocated due to the high demands on this service. You will be given general guidelines of the waiting time to expect. If your situation significantly worsens whilst you are on the waiting list, do please let us know.

Eligibility Criteria

Before the Community Housing and Adaptations Occupational Therapy Team decide whether they can provide you with support, they need to decide whether you are eligible for services.  To do this you will need to contact the Occupational Therapy department on 01983 534520.

We will see people of all ages who have a substantial and permanent physical/mental disability.

Substantial means:  The extent to which your disability causes you to have considerable difficulties in carrying out your normal activities in your home.  Disability may be due to loss of a limb, severe heart condition, lung disorder, severe medical condition, or of a neurological kind.

Permanent means:  Your condition or disability is considered likely to last all your life and is unlikely to improve. Sometimes your condition may also get worse, or possible fluctuate between good days and bad days.

We are unable to offer an assessment it you are:

  • Not substantially and permanently disabled.
  • If you have temporary or short term difficulty in managing your personal activities.
  • If you have been discharged from hospital following treatment to improve how you manage your activities, i.e. joint replacement operation, fracture of leg or arm.

If you require a walking aid you need to see your own GP and request a referral to the Physiotherapy Department.

If you feel you need assistance for everyday tasks, such as cleaning, assistance with bathing, and you have not got a Social Care Worker, you need to contact The First Response Team on 01983 814980.

If you require a wheelchair temporarily you will need to contact the Red Cross on 537815 where you can have a loan wheelchair.  For a permanent wheelchair you will need to phone the NHS Wheelchair Service on 01983 552053.

If you need assistance in completion of forms please call Age UK on 01983 525282 in the first instance.

Please do not worry if you are not eligible as the occupational therapy team are able to put you in touch with other organisations that may be able to help.

The Assessment

The assessment will comprise of a home visit by a qualified occupational therapy member of staff.  They will assess your ability to carry out everyday tasks such as:

  • Washing/dressing.
  • Whether you are able to get in/out of your bath, on/off your chair, in/out of your bed, on off your toilet or up and down internal and external stairs.

The list is not exhaustive but our aim will be to enable you to remain in your own home environment and to be as independent and safe as possible.

Home Adaptations

If the problems you are experiencing cannot be resolved by the provision of equipment or minor home modifications, we may need to look at undertaking more complex adaptations to access essential facilities in the property.  Essential Facilities are bathrooms, toilets, sleeping facilities, a living room, kitchen facilities and /or internal and external access.  Recommendations can include the following:

  • Replacing a bath with a level access shower.
  • Providing ramped access to the property.
  • Widening doorways for wheelchair access.
  • Providing a stairlift or through floor lift.

This type of work is not funded by the occupational therapy department.  To help with the cost there are currently grants available called Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG).  These grants are means tested so, dependent upon your individual financial circumstances, you may either be awarded a full grant, be asked to contribute something towards the cost of the works, or you may not be eligible for any grant help.  A panel reviews the information provided by your Occupational Therapist, GP, Housing Officer and others involved in your case to make sure the works are necessary, appropriate, reasonable and practical.

It is the Isle of Wight Housing renewal section of the council that administers this grant and an appointed Housing Officer will make a list of works that need to be done.

If you feel that you are unable to pay your assessed contribution then you will need to find an alternative source of funding, for example a commercial loan from a bank or building society. If you are genuinely unable to meet the cost or have any concerns about this then discuss the problem with your Occupational Therapist.

Applications for these grants require the support of an Occupational Therapist. It must be approved by the Disabled Facilities Grant Panel before the work is undertaken, and the grant cannot be paid after the work has been carried out.

If you need to contact the Occupational Therapy Department please use the details below:

Address: Occupational Therapy Department, St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5TG.

Telephone: 01983 534520.

Opening Times: Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm and Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm.