Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Occupational Therapist (OT)?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with people of all ages who have difficulties performing their day-to-day activities. These difficulties may be due to an injury or illness, or to the social, institutional or physical environment.
The term ‘occupation’ means much more than your career. Occupation refers to any activity that occupies your daily life -- bathing, dressing, cooking, parenting, working, studying, driving, grocery shopping, accessing your home and community and participating in leisure activities.
An OT assesses and addresses the physical, cognitive and/or psychological barriers that you face in performing your daily activities. Once the barriers have been identified, your OT develops a plan with you to maximize your daily function.
OTs commonly use a combination of two approaches -- rehabilitation and compensatory. Rehabilitation focuses on improving your intrinsic abilities, using interventions such as active rehab or cognitive training programs. The compensatory approach focuses on improving your abilities by making adaptations to your physical, social or institutional environment, as well as by educating you on how to manage your symptoms.
To learn how you, or someone you know, can benefit from the services of an OT, please call for a free phone consultation with Tara Trethewey, OT, at 604-264-7959. Or contact us via email at [email protected].
Where do OTs work?
OTs work with you in your own home, local community centre, workplace, school, and/or neighbourhood meeting spot. They do not have a clinic, instead they visit you in a place that is comfortable and convenient for you.
Which communities do Evergreen’s OTs serve?
Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster and Coquitlam.
What happens after a referral is made?
Once Evergreen Rehab has received your referral you will be contacted by phone within 24 hours. If the referral was made online over a weekend or statutory holiday, you will be contacted on the next business day.
Once we have confirmed your referral, an OT will arrange an appointment for your assessment or intervention. After the assessment is done your OT will keep you informed as to the next steps.
How does payment work?
If the referral is made by a third party payer (i.e. ICBC, GreatWest Life, RBC Insurance, etc.), Evergreen Rehab Services will invoice the fee payer as outlined in the fee payer’s guidelines. If formal guidelines do not exist, we will provide an invoice the first week of each month.
If the referral is made by your legal representative, Evergreen Rehab Services will fax an Agreement to Fund letter to the law office that outlines the services to be provided and payment agreement.
OT services will begin once the letter is signed and returned by fax (604-264-8894).
If the referral is made a family member, or if you’re self-referred, Evergreen Rehab Services will issue an invoice for OT services the first week of the following month.
Do you provide physiotherapy, massage and/or chiropractor services?
No. At this time we provide Occupational Therapy services only. However, as your case manager, your OT will assist you to set up alternate rehab services such as Physiotherapy when needed. Evergreen has a large network of preferred service providers and we are happy to guide you in choosing trusted, effective and knowledgeable rehab providers.
What do you mean by Cognitive Rehab?
Cognitive rehab uses remediation (reversing or stopping damage) and compensation (learning how to do things differently) to get you as fully functional as possible for the long term.
Remediation is based on the concept of neuroplasticity – that the brain has the ability to adapt to injury and re-organize itself by creating new or alternate neuronal pathways. This type of therapy involves cognitive exercises that stimulate and challenge areas of cognition that have been damaged as a result of injury or illness.
Compensation is all about helping you to learn new or adaptive strategies or ways to perform various activities. We all use some form of compensatory strategy to manage the demands of our daily lives. For example, using a day planner, phone alarm or automated event reminder. We assist you to identify and learn strategies that target your needs and lifestyle to get the most out of life.
In addition to these two approaches, Evergreen Rehab Services believes that a successful cognitive rehab program must involve ongoing education on the impact of injury or illness and activities to learn and apply new skills in real life situations.
Cognitive Rehab sessions are completed on a one-on-one basis. Cognitive exercises aimed at restoring brain function are usually computer-based (e.g. Cogmed Working Memory Training Program) or pen-paper tasks that are challenging, repetitive and require a strong commitment to elicit the best outcomes.
What type of clients do OTs work with?
OTs help people of all ages to take care of themselves, participate in leisure activities and return to their jobs after an illness or injury. We work with:
- Healthy populations (preventative services, such as ergonomic assessments and wellness education)
- Neurological Conditions (e.g. Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, Stroke)
- Mental Health Conditions
- Any Orthopedic Injuries (Bone fractures)
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Chronic Health Conditions (e.g. Chronic Pain, fibromyalgia)
- Illness (e.g. cancer)
How can an OT help me or my client?
An OT can assist you to overcome physical, cognitive and/or psychosocial difficulties. OTs aim to minimize or remove these, as well as environmental barriers to help your to live a more independent, meaningful, happy and healthy life.
I have been injured in a car accident. What do I do and how do I manage rehab and medical treatment and expenses?
You should file a personal injury claim to notify ICBC of the collision and your injury. Once it has been processed, you will be assigned an Adjuster or Rehabilitation Coordinator who will oversee your claim. ICBC provides no fault insurance, meaning that anyone involved in a car accident is entitled to benefits, whether the collision was their fault or not.
Benefits related to your medical and rehabilitation needs are called “Part 7 Benefits”. It is recommended that you contact your ICBC Adjuster or Rehabilitation Coordinator early in your recovery process for detailed information on the benefits available to you.