Self-Care and the Role of Occupational Therapy
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is a part of daily living and includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It often encompasses hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental and socio-economic factors. The World Health Organization (2014) defines self-care as "the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote, maintain health, prevent disease and to cope with illness".
From an occupational therapy perspective, self-care includes activities such as personal care (bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding), functional mobility, and community management (grocery shopping, driving, taking public transportation, managing finances).
FACT: Good self care is a challenge for many people.
Occupational Therapy Role
Occupational therapists play a valuable role in addressing difficulties encountered in performing self-care occupations, as the result of injury, disability, or aging, for example.
An occupational therapy assessment takes into consideration a variety of factors including the client's goals, individual abilities and limitations, the environment, and the task itself.
The intervention may include specific focus on the individual to enable them to reach their goal, adapting the environment, or modifying the task.