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Facts on Occupational therapy

Ergothérapie (Occupational therapy) is a paramedical treatment using activity to promote recovery or improve the general condition of people with mental illness This treatment is organised by an occupational therapist, under the supervision of a doctor.

Occupational therapy has developed into a programme of activities specially chosen for their physical, intellectual, emotional and occupational value.

The therapist’s work is based on the doctor’s opinion of the patient’s diagnostic, prognostic, personality, physical and emotional limitations, and the objectives.

Sometimes the therapist engages in a form of vocational rehabilitation by choosing activities that will enable patients to learn the skills of daily life, either because they have not acquired them.

When treating patients who have never worked or who have to change jobs the therapist may have to suggest professional guidance. An experienced therapist is familiar with a wide range of activities such as gardening, animal husbandry, weaving, crafts, music, and various recreational, educational and creative hobbies such as pottery, leatherwork and handicrafts. After determining the patient’s wishes to engage in a specific area, the therapist will use one or more of these activities to achieve the desired result.

People with mental illness tend to be idle, to withdraw into themselves. They no longer feel useful, able to resume their professional activities.
Most of the patients are often indigent, poor and needy, left to their own devices.

Very often, they come to the Centre in search of jobs and help.

In this respect, the occupational therapy service is one of the best ways of taking care of them to avoid repeated relapses.

  • Project Justification
    Occupational therapy provide patients with a functional and psychological therapy and a progressive socio-professional reintegration.

  • Functional therapy
    The occupational therapist evaluates the patient’s behaviour in relation to his or her abilities, strengths, handicap and disabilities. Functional therapy concerns the functioning and malfunctioning of the motor and nervous systems and with the way in which organised activity can help to develop or restore sensory and motor skills.

    The occupational therapy programme is individualised in order to optimise the development and restoration of nerve or muscle coordination, increase joint range of motion and strengthen muscles within the patient’s physical tolerance. Functional therapy can also take into account a person’s motivation to engage in activities in a therapeutic manner.

  • Psychological therapy
    Whether the disability is due to a mental illness, the psychological rehabilitation of the patient is important. Occupational therapy is based on the practice of useful and planned activities which provide the patient with satisfaction and help him to overcome the lack of self-esteem and self-confidence, or the difficulty of living with stress and depression. Occupational therapy strives to balance work, play and rest, to optimise independent functions, and to see the patient as a functional individual and not as a disabled person.

Activities that take place at St John of God Hospital Lome are (some have been put on hold due to the COVID’19 restrictions)

  • Talks
  • Handicrafts: knitting, decorating, making beads, liquid soap, drawing, etc.
  • Recreational activities: music, sports, going out, etc…
  • The culinary activity will serve as an agape (fraternal meals) source of motivation.