In OT – context is everything. The value a task or activity has for a specific individual, the time and location of the activity.
Different settings, situations and environmental propmts have the potential to illicit completely different outcomes.
For a long term tea drinker, asking them to make a coffee to determine if they have problem solving skills, in no way is a adequate or true reflection of their skill.
Seeking to assess someone’s ability to manage at home, in the hospital ward, where the confusion of the white walls, absence of clocks, strage noises adds layers of challenge to those that live with dementia.
But, having them at home, in their kitchen, with prompts designed around them… context provides freedom – freedom to be their best.
Recently, I heard about one of our new clients. A young individual who found morning routines really hard. The family were at the end of their tether, and had been given stratagy after stratagy, and yet no one (therapists) had seen her full morning routine.
Why does this situation warm my heart?
Because I knew exactly what would happen next.
I knew the moment our team heard about this situation, they would do all it took to be there… to see the challenges this young person and their family are dealing with – in context.
No one would ask, no one would expect – after all… no one had done such a thing before…
But, I also know the heart of therapists who really get it.
Who get that our role is to not make life harder… but to step into the challenge, into the overwhelm and reach out, to provide hope.
Who without a moment’s hesitation, offer to do what is needed, to reach into someone’s moment of struggle, in context.
And so… together, we saw the sun rise…