Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists focus on making the things that matter to people possible again, this may be following a significant illness or through a disability. The occupational therapists will look at your strengths, your home environment and how you are able to participate in daily life.

The service can offer you an assessment, give you advice and may be able to provide you with equipment and adaptations to help you remain independent at home and within your local community.

Some examples of activities where the occupational therapy team may be able to help you:

  • Being able to manage your personal hygiene
  • Managing a basic drink and snack preparation
  • Managing steps or stairs within your property 
  • Being able to get in and out of your property safely

An occupational therapist will identify the right support to address your needs

This can include advice on a different ways or strategies for completing tasks

By providing equipment to enable you to be independent for example when using the bath or toilet

By providing minor adaptations such as grab rails and stair rails to help you remain safe

Equipment is loaned free of charge for as long as you need it and minor adaptations adaptations up to £1000 are also provided free of charge.

For those with more complex needs 

The occupational therapist can help you remain at home, delay or reduce your level of care by providing specialist moving and handling equipment such as slide sheets, hoists and slings.

The occupational therapist may be able to request adaptations to your home via the housing department for council tenants or for homeowners, housing association tenants or those renting privately via the home improvement agency for a means tested disabled facilities grant. Typical adaptations include, stair lifts, level access showers, downstairs toilets and wheelchair access.

If you are waiting for a housing transfer the occupational therapist will be able to provide a report detailing what your housing needs are for a new property and advising on any adaptations you may need.

Will I have to wait for an assessment?

The occupational therapy team receive a high volume of referral and typical waiting times to be assessed for adaptations such as a stair lift or level access shower can be around 3 months, for small pieces of equipment the wait could be about 2 months.

If your need is deemed urgent the team will try to see you between 1 and 4 weeks

If you don’t want to wait

There are many small everyday gadgets that you can purchase from local stores that can help you remain independent without the need for an occupational therapy service for example a potato peeler with a large grip handle or an electric tin opener.

Other items of disability equipment such as raised toilet seats, bath equipment, reachers can be purchased from retailers in the Kingston area or neighbouring borough or on line. 

You can find videos on YouTube showing you how to use simple equipment safely.

You can find advice on purchasing equipment at:

The Disabled Living Foundation

Age UK

The Disabled Living Foundation also have a self assessment tool on their web site to help you find equipment that may help you.

Professional advice from a member of the occupational therapy team is free and can be accessed via the Royal Borough of Kingston Contact Centre on 020 8547 5005.