Occupations are meaningful, practical, and purposeful activities that we participate in as part of our daily lives. We have occupations as children and as adults.
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2011) have framed self-care, leisure, and productivity as the broad categories of occupation. We use this as a framework for all of our clients; children, adolescents, and adults.
Self-Care may refer to many things; emotionally, physically, or mentally looking after ourselves. This might include personal care, sleeping, eating.
Leisure may relate to play, hobbies or interests which are intrinsically motivating to us, perhaps with friends or family, or perhaps alone. This might include sports, online communities, clubs.
Productivity provides a sense of achievement. It may be employment, learning at school, construction, art, volunteering.
It is important us as to Occupational Therapists to understand each individual’s valued occupations. Our mantra is “Helping people to live, not exist” (The Royal College of Occupational Therapists).
There could be a number of reasons why a person might have difficulties engaging in meaningful occupations, including physical, sensory, emotional or cognitive difficulties. As Occupational Therapists, we work with the individual and their family to help to rectify or compensate for these difficulties.