Functional cognition is the interaction of cognitive skills and self-care, and community living skills. It refers to the thinking and processing skills needed to accomplish complex everyday activities such as household and financial management, medication management, volunteer activities, driving, and work. Cognition refers specifically to information-processing functions, including attention, memory, and executive functions (i.e., planning, problem solving, self- monitoring, self-awareness).  There are many levels of change that can occur with cognition. Some may be very mild changes that may be hard to detect on a day to day basis and others can be quite profound and very obvious. Improving cognition can undoubtedly improve rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life. 

Cognitive Rehab using robotics technology
Cognitive Rehab at Advance Rehab Centre Sydney
Robotics and Technology Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive impairment can be caused by a brain injury, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis and other genetic or developmental disorders. In addition, mental illness and life stresses can also impact cognition. Progressive cognitive disorders worsen over time, but with appropriate treatment, clients can often remain independent in self-care and other activities well into the disease process.  

Occupational therapists focus their interventions on the relationship between your cognitive skills, functional performance, and environmental context to enhance your daily life experience if you have a cognitive impairment. They can work very closely with other therapists to work towards your clearly identified goals. ARC occupational therapists play a vital role in addressing your needs if you have cognitive impairments impacting self-care and living skills.

Cognitive Therapy in Sydney

During an assessment, our occupational therapists use a broad standardised tool that looks at all areas of cognition. If needed, a more specific standardised assessment will follow, to gather additional vital information through close observation of completion of an appropriate function, such as undertaking a task in the kitchen. 

Following a thorough assessment, our occupational therapists will address any deficits in functional cognition and provide a treatment plan to enable clients to participate more fully in self-care, work, leisure, and community activities that enhance life quality, while reducing the burden on caregivers and societal resources.

We also look to educate and involve the clients direct support network where necessary. We understand that supporting an individual with cognitive impairment can be a real struggle and having knowledgeable therapist’s support can be life changing. 

ARC’s occupational therapists can complete assessments, and treatment, either in clinic, at your home or via telehealth. 

How do Occupational Therapists Help? What does treatment look like? 

How do Occupational Therapists help?

Having gathered all of the assessment findings and baseline measures, your occupational therapist will develop a treatment plan to address the effects of cognitive deficits on daily life. Every person is unique, and we will work together with the client, family, and involved others to set collaborative goals and treatment priorities. These can usually begin with basic activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and grooming, and may progress to more difficult tasks such as preparing meals, doing laundry, driving, or returning to work.  

Cognitive rehabilitation aims to improve cognitive skills through carefully planned cognitive exercises. Use of technology, such as the MYRO and computer based cognitive training programs, paper based cognitive rehab tasks and functional task practice are all used to help train cognitive function. Environmental modifications and the use of assistive technology can address the complexity of what the person needs to do and altering environmental contexts to enhance the match between the client’s abilities and the environmental demands. 

Strategies to improve awareness of a persons cognitive processes is a hugely important part of treatment. This can greatly assist clients to develop their own compensatory approaches in addition to the introduction and training on specific devices to aid cognitive difficulties such as poor memory. 




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We also offer regular online cognitive focused educational webinars for our clients provided by our therapist team that you are welcome to join in.

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