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Your Occupational Therapist may use some terms or phrases that are new to you. These definitions are provided as a reference to help you and your Occupational Therapist work together as effectively as possible.



Compensation for physical deficits
If for example youre unable to grasp an object due to restrictions in your range of motion, an Occupational Therapist can provide equipment to assist you or suggest different ways of approaching the task more successfully without involving additional equipment.

Injury prevention
Learning to live, work and play smart so as to avoid damaging the body or mind.

Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapists are health care professionals who help people better adapt to their environment through education and appropriate equipment. Occupational Therapists carefully assess a persons physical and mental abilities to identify and overcome any obstacles to the activities of daily living.


  • Self-care: getting into and out of bed, getting into and out of the bathtub, taking a shower, getting dressed, and so on
  • Productivity: any activities that are needed to perform paid or unpaid work, and
  • Leisure: any activities that a person does for fun
  • Studies have shown that occupational therapy significantly improves seniors quality of life, and is a cost-effective way to maintain health and independence with lasting results.

Physical limitation
A restriction in a persons range of motion, strength, endurance or balance.

Quality of life
Your own perception of how well youre able to enjoy the opportunities and manage the challenges of daily life.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Damage caused by tasks that are repetitive in nature. An example is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


A device to help a person get into and out of bed independently and safely.

Many cushions are available by prescription to improve comfort and manage pressure sores. Materials range from simple foam to memory foam, to gel, to air (ROHO).

Daily living aid
Devices that help a person complete their activities of daily living independently and safely. Some examples are:

  • A long handled shoe horn to help don shoes
  • A long handled reacher to pick up items from the floor
  • A sock aid to help don socks
  • Weighted cutlery to reduce the tremors that a Parkinsons Disease patient experiences while eating
  • Built-up handles on utensils used by those who find it difficult to grasp objects
  • Handles to help get into and out of a vehicle

ROHO cushion
These are specialized air cushions used to treat pressure sores, also known as bed sores or pressure ulcers. ROHO cushions can be fitted to wheelchairs, beds and seats.

Safety equipment
An Occupational Therapist prescribes safety equipment to help a person reduce the risk of injury while living an independent life. Some examples of bathroom safety equipment are:

  • Raised toilet seats
  • Grab bars for toilets
  • Bathtub benches
  • Shower stools
  • Bath boards
  • Commodes

Specialty mattress
If a person has a pressure sore, an Occupational Therapist can prescribe a specialty mattress to improve their quality of life.

A splint is a medical device used to immobilize a joint or limb in a neutral position, in order to minimize pain and hasten the healing of an injury. An example could be prescribing a resting splint for flexion contractures (flexion of finger joints) for a person who has suffered a stroke.

Transfer equipment
These are devices that help those at risk of falling to safely and independently get into and out of the bed, move between a bed and wheelchair, get into and out of the bathtub, and use the toilet.

Walkers help a person overcome physical limitations to independent and confident walking. Walkers may feature 2, 4 or no wheels, as best suits the users needs.

Wheelchairs help a person move about without using their legs, and are available in both manual and powered versions.


Depending on your unique circumstances, an Occupational Therapist can complete a variety of evaluations to give you carefully considered recommendations.

Ergonomic assessment
An Occupational Therapist can evaluate the degree of fit between you and your current environment, e.g. a computer workstation, for the purpose of reducing your risk of injury.

Functional assessment
An evaluation of your current ability to safely and independently complete the activities of normal daily living. Recommendations are based on your unique circumstances and environment.

Home safety assessment
An Occupational Therapist can come to your home and assess its current suitability to your unique medical situation. Recommendations are made to maximize your ability to live independently and safely, especially in the bathroom where the greatest number of home injuries occur.

Power mobility assessment
A comprehensive physical, cognitive and equipment trial assessment that may recommend a power wheelchair or a scooter to help you move around. The Occupational Therapist can also complete any documentation or equipment justification letters that are needed to obtain the recommended equipment.

Seating professional
Occupational Therapists are also seating experts who collaborate with other health care professionals to recommend optimal seating choices for the comfort and healing of those suffering from pressure sores or poor ergonomics.

Wheelchair and seating assessment
A comprehensive physical evaluation to prescribe appropriate wheelchair and seating systems, including specialized cushions if appropriate.