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Occupational Therapy Professional Corporation

Occupational Therapy Worldview Applied to Life Care Planning

Life Care Planning is a transdisciplinary specialty practice. To become a board-certified Life Care Planner, applicants must firstly hold a designation in a health care related profession and demonstrate years of clinical experience. Certified Life Care Planners must maintain legal licensure with their governing regulatory body (e.g., The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario). Each Life Care Planner is expected to work within the specific standards of practice and regulatory requirements of that licensing body. Thus, the individual Life Care Planner’s health care training, professional experience, and the related scope of practice inform the Life Care Planning process.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists focus on enabling clients’ engagement in those activities that each individual client specifically defines as being meaningful to him or her. Occupational Therapists call these activities occupations. Occupations are commonly classified into three broad categories:

  • Self care (e.g., dressing, eating, safety at home and in the community)
  • Productivity (e.g., employment, caring for family, student activities)
  • Leisure (e.g., hobbies, sports, and socialization with others)

Occupational Therapists recognize that health is a dynamic and interactive balance of physical, cognitive, and emotional/mental health considerations. This holistic health is richly influenced by the characteristics of the environment (e.g., physical, social, cultural, financial, institutional) in which each individual is embedded.

Occupational Therapists believe that occupation:

  • gives meaning to life
  • is an important determinant of health, well-being, and justice
  • organizes behaviour
  • develops and changes over a lifetime
  • shapes, and is shaped by, environments
  • has therapeutic potential

Townsend, E. A., & Polatajko, H. J. (2007). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being & justice through occupation. Ottawa: CAOT Publications.

With their health care training, holistic orientation, and focus on occupational engagement, Occupational Therapists are well equipped to comprehensively assess and identify clients’ idiosyncratic impairments. Next, Occupational Therapists can demonstrate how these impairments translate into meaningful functional restrictions both currently and over the life span. A Life Care Plan aims to restore the injured individual to the position in which he or she was prior to injury, as much as may be reasonably possible.

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