Occupational Therapy Carers Pathway

Unpaid carers play a vital role in the provision of care, however many carers feel their role is unseen and undervalued. 

Graphic image of an oxygen mask.  Text reads, "Put your oxygen mask on first. You Matter,  #Selfcare


Not all unpaid carers/caregivers are elderly – there are young carers, working carers, carers with multiple demands.  If you are showing up to support another person, you may consider yourself in a caring role.

The impact of caring for another individual is highly underestimated, and if support is not in place, the legacy of the caring role impacts on the carer's quality of life and health and wellbeing. 

Caring can have a significant impact on all aspects of an individual’s life.  It can be physically, emotionally, mentally and financially draining, as well as time consuming. 

Too many carers feel as though they are unable to look after their own health and well-being.  Some may feel isolated, unable to achieve a healthy balance between caring and what is important to them.

Positive caring experiences 

For some, caring for others can be incredibly rewarding.  Time spent with a loved one can provide treasured memories, and provide an opportunity to add to the care givers skills and knowledge. 

Everyone's caring journey is different.  Support is available at whatever stage you are at.  However, we recommend getting in touch at the earliest opportunity to make the caring journey sustainable for all parties and put the strategies in place from the outset to prevent carer burnout.

East Lothian's Occupational Therapy Carers Pathway is here to support you.

East Lothian's Occupational Therapy Carer Pathway supports carers on a 1-1 basis to improve their own quality of life, health and wellbeing and ensure they receive the support they need to be able to sustainably care for others.

The Carer Pathway is unique to each individual.  It's a partnership, that is built on relationships and finding the solutions that will help you in your daily 'occupations'.

Occupational therapy aims to support you to thrive, flourish and live a good life.  This acknowledges your 'occupations' (roles and activities meaninful to you) and support you to achieve balance, quality of life and self-management of your own health and wellbeing. 

Meaningful occupations are key; not just what you have to do and need to do, the things you want to do are what make you, YOU.

Carer experiences 

Meet Annie and Kari-Ann who have both been engaged in the Occupational Therapy Carers Pathway. 

Hear their stories, and how carer support has benefitted them personally. 

Video not displaying correctly?  View Annie's Story via YouTube

Video not displaying correctly?  View Kari-Ann's Story via YouTube


Top tips for Carers 

  • Occupational balance is vital: this includes sleep, a healthy diet, keeping your self active, be open to other ways to relax. 
  • Prioritise time for yourself – create moments throughout the day.
  • Where possible promote your loved ones independence – try not to over-care.
  • Your voice and experience is important – do not undervalue your knowledge of your loved-one. Professionals can learn from you.
  • Be open to ask for help.  It’s not failure, it’s acknowledging you are human too.
  • Be aware of your own stamina.  When you get tired, learn to rest and not push through or quit.

Request for assistance from the Occupational Therapy Carer Pathway 

Currently access to the Carer's Pathway is by referral only.  But there are lots of ways you can request a referral. 

Professionals that can refer into the Occupational Therapy Carers Pathway include: 

  • East Lothian GPs 
  • Carers of East Lothian
  • Occupational Therapist 
  • Physiotherapist
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • CWIC Team 
  • CWIC Mental Health Team
  • East Lothian Mental Health Services
  • East Lothian Social Care Team 
  • Dementia Link Workers
  • Community Link Workers
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists