What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. Occupation includes not just the job people do, but also the meaningful things they do in their daily life that make them who they are.
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people to enhance their ability to engage purposefully in life.
The occupations of everyday life include:
- Activities of daily living: Self-care activities such as showering, dressing, grooming and eating
- Household and community functioning: Home maintenance, driving, budgeting, shopping and community mobility
- Education: Activities which allow a person to participate effectively in a learning environment.
- Leisure activities.
- Social participation: Interacting positively with others in the community.
- Work (paid and unpaid): Participating in employment and volunteer activities.
The ability to perform these tasks and engage in important life roles can be significantly affected by cancer and its treatment.
Nadine Di Maio is an Occupational Therapist (OT) at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. She began her career in a rotational programme at St George Hospital in Sydney after completing a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney in 1992. During her career, Nadine has worked extensively in hospital and community settings, both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. Nadine has worked in both clinical and managerial roles treating people of all ages and conditions. She specialised in the area of Rheumatology for a large part of her career where she was involved in research and presented at conferences and workshops.
Most recently, Nadine has specialised in Oncology care. She was attracted to Lifehouse by its vision and values, and the unique opportunity to work in a young and growing hospital. She regularly attends professional development activities to keep up to date with research and changes in practice.
Nadine helps inpatients at Lifehouse who have difficulty carrying out their meaningful activities or occupations because of cancer and its treatments. Her aim is to assist patients to get home quickly and safely by providing practical strategies and equipment recommendations to increase independence in their daily life. Nadine’s role is to provide education to patients and empower them with the skills they need to live life to the fullest.
Nadine feels privileged to work in the field of oncology. She finds it an honour to assist patients to reach their potential and improve their quality of life and comfort at such a critical time in their lives
Occupational therapists will work with you, your family and your treating team to identify and address issues you feel may be limiting your function.
Depending on your symptoms, the occupational therapist may provide advice relating to:
- Improving safety and independence with performing daily activities at home and in the community
- Setting up your home to better support you and your family to manage cancer and its side-effects.
- Occupational therapists are also able to assess and recommend assistive equipment/technology and/or environmental modifications that will assist individuals to engage in the occupations of everyday life.
Patients, their families and carers can make direct contact with an Occupational Therapist at Lifehouse.
If a member of your treating team believes you might benefit from seeing an occupational therapist, they will organise the necessary referrals for you.
Phone: 02 8514 0587