Latvia National OT News

News from Latvia, 2017

The celebration of World Occupational therapy day in Latvia is expanding with every year. This year various activities were carried out reflecting the daily work of occupational therapists. OTs informed society about important topics in OT – ergonomics, the principles of joint protection, balance in everyday life, assistive technology, proper sitting positions, etc. There were lots of opportunities to participate in activities for everyone – staff members, patients/clients, as well as for those who are interested in therapeutic activities and wanted to understand OTs work through practical experience. Here are just some examples of what we did. More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/ergoterapija.

Outpatient center “Veldre” of Riga Psychiatry and Narcology Centre organized open door days where patients and staff members were informed about importance of occupational therapy and had the opportunity to participate in a group activity of making sensory bags that positively influenced communication, facilitated the successful cooperation of participants, occupational therapists and students. 

In Rehabilitation center “Līgatne” seniors were involved in leisure time activities organized by OT students, to reduce imbalances in daily life activities. 

In National rehabilitation centre “Vaivari” OTs informed employees about OT intervention purposes and methods, promoted technologies and methods used by OTs to help patients in gaining independence in daily activities. There were also different creative competitions between staff members carried out using assistive devices (like sock aids, reachers) and evaluation methods, for example testing the muscle strength. 

In resort rehabilitation center “Jaunķemeri” various educational activities took place throughout the week, including seminars about proper sitting and back pain, occupational balance and joint protection which were led by OTs and OT students. 

Educational seminar “Joint protection for active living” was also organized in Clinical center “Gaiļezers” of Riga East University Hospital and led by OT Vita Kurganova. There was an opportunity to hear about the event and see an interview with Vita on the TV. 

OTs at Vidzeme Hospital Rehabilitation department informed society about how to properly carry out work routine and what kind of technical aids can be used to improve quality of life. OTs also consulted children and teachers in several local schools about applying principles of ergonomics daily. 

In cooperation with OT study program in Riga Stradiņš University several activities were carried out: there was a possibility to join OT4OT online conference and student organized workshops. 

Besides all on-site activities, everyone could learn about occupational therapy profession and World OT day activities from newspapers, social media, television broadcasts and radio! For example, president of LAOT Ieva Jēkabsone participated in live radio broadcast, where she told about OT and activities organized by Latvian OTs in frames of World OT day. Also, vice-president of LAOT Zane Liepiņa gave an interview in newspaper about “Versatility and diversity of Occupational therapy”. 

These and many more activities helped us raise the awareness about importance of OT. The board of LAOT thanks each and every OT who gave effort and took part in celebration of World OT day! 

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