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Notice: The Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021) are now in effect.

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Published May 2022 with NewsCanada

With spring here, the time is nearing to open up the family cottage. Getting ready isn’t just a matter of stocking the fridge and pantry, getting the utilities back on, and doing a check for repairs. It’s also important to ensure you can navigate the property, and all the tasks around daily cottage living, safely and accessibly.

A lot can change in your life from season to season. Illness, injury, aging or simply finding everyday tasks challenging may cause you to consider certain modifications around the cottage. Those adjustments could also help friends and family who’ll be using the cottage too.

Adaptations could include the physical layout, like ramps, flooring that suits wheelchairs or walkers, or faucets that are easier to use. You may also require new ways of doing old activities, like gardening or cooking. Or you may need help to increase your motion, flexibility and strength so that you can more fully enjoy the cottage.

To find ways to make changes, you may find yourself working with an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists are health care professionals who help people to learn or regain skills, or to use equipment that makes certain tasks easier. The goal is to improve functions at your job, your home, getting around, caring for yourself or anything else that matters to you.

As part of a regulated health profession, occupational therapists have certain obligations and belong to a body that enforces them: the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. The College sets the standards for the profession and holds occupational therapists accountable to them. That protects your right to receive safe, competent and ethical care.

The College also has lots of resources about what occupational therapists do, considerations when hiring one, and more. You can look up the name of an occupational therapist at to check if they’re licensed to practice in Ontario at coto.org.