Trend in Occupational Therapy Essay
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The medical field is constantly undergoing significant changes in response to the changing health and social needs of Canadians, as well as health care delivery systems. Occupational therapy is an integral part of this process, as it has expanded from traditional hospital settings to home and community care.
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists identifies some of the existing trends as affecting occupational therapy:
• an aging population
• increased awareness of the needs of people with disabilities
• higher survival rates from accidents and injuries
• increased emphasis on health promotion and prevention to keep health care costs down
• higher incidence of mental health and family problems
• changes in work conditions such as job stress and early retirement
• a more informed public regarding health and health concerns
In my opinion one of rapidly evolving trends in occupational therapy in Ontario is its increasing role in providing care to the aging population in long-term care settings. In fact the aging population is
growing rapidly, with many individuals moving to long-term care facilities each day. New retirement homes are being built all over Ontario and particularly in GTA; therefore I would say this trend is "visible."
I've found out that Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA) commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to investigate the innovation potential of the Ontario residential long-term care sector. The resulting report, titled "Elements of an Effective Innovation Strategy for Long-Term Care in Ontario," highlights significant challenges and opportunities within the sector and examines possible strategies that would help make patient care in long-term care settings more effective.
Some of the facts presented in the report include:
• By 2035 there will be nearly 238,000 Ontarians in need of long-term care (versus about 98,000 today).
• There has already been a marked increase in the number of long-term care residents with multiple diagnoses or co-morbidities, and chronic diseases will only continue to be more prevalent in future years.
• Baby boomers are likely to exhibit stronger preferences for independent living arrangements, greater autonomy, and choice in services than previous generations.
The report shows that occupational therapy is at the core of presenting good care within retirement home and long tem care…
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