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What´s Occupational Therapy?

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The core aim of Occupational therapy in any setting is to empower and engage people to participate in occupations which can help them attain a healthy and meaningful life (Schultz & Schkade, 1992). With this particular population the Occupational Therapist (OT) can offer a holistic and person-centred perspective by assessing and collaboratively identifying the strengths, limitations and needs of each homeless youth. This would lead to implementing individual plans that will help them foster skills needed to become a functional member of the society (Aviles and Helfrich, 2006). Reid (1999) found many homeless shelters provide housing, meals and referrals to medical and social services however do not teach the youths to access these resources…show more content…
The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) has been identified as a valuable theoretical model for OTs who work with the homeless population as it serves as a basis for developing profiles (Kavanagh and Fares, 1995; Kielhofner,2002). It inform all aspects of the OT process of assessment, identifying needs, negotiating and formulating goals, planning, intervention and outcome measures (Kielhofner, 2004). This model views individuals as occupational beings who are made up of three interconnected components of volition, habituation and performance capacity. The model seeks to explain how occupation is motivated, performed and patterned and the influence of the environment on performance (Kavanagh and Fares, 1995). The MOHO model can be applied to understand how routines for the homeless youths are often imposed and lack meaning as their main priority include engaging in occupations which meet the basic level of the Hierarchy of Need e.g. finding food, shelter or a place to sleep; which can be time consuming (Maslow, 1943). This can lead the youth to become habituated to their daily routines and the street conditions. Conversely the homeless youth may have the skills for performance however the lack of opportunities due to external or environmental restrictions can prevent them from…show more content…
In order for the therapy to be the most effective, each intervention would consider the individuals interest, values, promotion of health and wellbeing, whether the environment facilitates participation and if the activity can be graded and adapted (Finlayson et al., 2002). A beneficial characteristic of Occupational therapist is that they can work individually with clients to identify achievable goals, break down the goals to smaller components and encourage practice through repeated application of new skills using an activity which is both meaningful and purposeful to the homeless youth (Finlayson et al
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