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Living better with arthritis: finding ways to improve function and lifestyle

Dealing with arthritis can make everything from enjoying a meal to tying your shoes a challenge. It’s something that more than 4.5 million people of all ages in Canada face every day. Fortunately, if you or someone you love has arthritis, there are ways to improve function and lifestyle. 

One option is to work with an occupational therapist (OT). OTs are licensed health professionals who help people affected by injuries and various conditions. The goal is to develop ways for people to do the things that matter to them. 

For instance, people with arthritis may need to use assistive devices to help with everyday activities like cooking or bathing. Or they may need to use techniques to increase their motion, flexibility and strength. OTs can recommend strategies and adaptations needed to take on everyday tasks.

Anyone living with arthritis wants to be able to do the things they need or want to do with confidence. They should also have confidence in their health professional. OTs have professional obligations around competencies and ethics. 

The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario sets the standards for OTs and holds them accountable. On their website, you can ensure an OT is registered and find current information. If you or a loved one is working with an OT, you can learn more at 

Contact the College for assistance locating an OT, or for information about what to expect when working with an OT. If you have concerns or complaints about an OT, the College is there to help too. 

As regulated health professionals all OTs – and the College they belong to – are there to serve your interests first. That protects your right to receive quality care.