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Occupational therapy services


Occupational therapy services are designed to help people who have a disability (physical, psychological or social) to achieve the maximum degree of independence in ordinary living.

Many occupational therapists work in the HSE's Local Health Offices. Their services are generally available free of charge to medical card holders and people who have contracted Hepatitis C directly or indirectly from the use of Human Immunoglobulin-Anti-D or from the receipt within Ireland of any blood product or a blood transfusion and who have Health Amendment Act Cards.

In some cases, people who urgently need the service may be referred to private practitioners by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The service is usually provided in your home but it can also be provided in your local health centre.


In theory, everyone who needs the service of an occupational therapist is eligible. In practice, there are long waiting lists and priority is given to;


Usually, the occupational therapist carries out an assessment of your ability to function in relation to the normal requirements of living - dressing, eating, bathing, etc. Your home arrangements are also assessed and a decision is made as to what assistance you need by way of appliances.(For example, a wheelchair, chair lift, downstairs bathroom, etc.).

The occupational therapist may then arrange for the provision of some appropriate aids and appliances by the Health Service Executive (HSE) or may certify that you are eligible for the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability. They may also provide advice and assistance to you and your family or carers in relation to changes or adaptations that need to be made to the house.

Private occupational therapists

There is also a shortage of private occupational therapists so you may have to wait some time for their services as well. The Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (the professional body that regulates the profession in Ireland) has a list of occupational therapists in private practice (pdf).

How to apply

You may apply directly to the Health Service Executive for the services of an occupational therapist, but it is more usual for you to be referred by a public health nurse, family doctor (GP) or hospital.

Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland

Ground Floor Office
Bow Bridge House
Bow Lane
Dublin 8

Tel:+353 (0)1 633 7222

Page edited: 16 September 2010



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