Unsure of how to best help an aging loved one? Learn how occupational therapy can help them redesign their lives to life a better health-related lifestyle!
According to a recent study at the University of Southern California, health improvement and occupational therapy slowed the decline related to aging for the elderly more effectively than engaging in basic social activities.
As the senior population continues to increase, occupational therapists can offer solutions to participation, overall engagement and welfare for the elderly.
Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals trained in helping people live more independent and productive lives. While occupational therapy is beneficial for people of all ages, it is especially useful for the elderly, who are regularly faced with physical, mental, and psychological obstacles.
In fact, over 35% of occupational therapists work with older adults. When an elderly person finds themselves afflicted by illness, injury, disability, an accident, or a mental health condition, occupational therapists are the guiding light on the often dimly lit road to recovery.
What Are The Tasks Of An OT?
Occupational therapists (or OTs) help older adults overcome physical challenges, enabling them to eventually return to home life and remaster their previous skillset.
They teach self-care skills including cooking, eating, dressing and grooming, and community engagement, among other activities.
Occupational therapists also help seniors offset the challenges they face every day, such as dressing and feeding, while helping them maintain their ability to participate in instrumental activities such as driving and managing the home, leisure, social participation and productive activities such as volunteering and employment.
Occupational therapy can also help with emotional and social adjustment following injury or illness. Therapists can teach older people with vision or hearing impairments and limitations of mobility how to prevent falls, conserve energy, and other compensation techniques.
This can include an environment updated with a bath bench or grab bars, or for a stroke victim, the implementation of one-handed tools or utensils.
Better Health Through OT
A therapist often helps the elderly who want to “rethink” their lives in order to live a better health-related lifestyle after a brain or spinal-cord injury or a stroke.
Therapists can also remove obstacles or fears that prevent seniors from active community and health engagement. They provide a unique educational approach that allows seniors to dissect their own lives and adjust for optimal wellness.
Upgrades To Media
Therapists can ensure to provide an environment with specific media to ensure that the content and style are sensitive to sensory changes associated with age and support cognitive processes associated with learning for older adults.
Activities Of Daily Living Therapy
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are basic self-care tasks that an occupational therapist can help adults remaster after brain trauma. This process is akin to the kinds of skills that people usually learn in early childhood.
Occupational Therapists are well versed in assessing and developing treatment plans to help seniors with:
- Medication Intake
- Transferring From Wheelchair To Bed/Shower/Sofa/Car
- Sleep Challenges