Occupational Therapy (OT) is a process that involves helping people of all ages develop, maintain, or recover the skills they need to do daily activities. As we age, the daily activities we know and enjoy may begin to become more and more difficult. OT can help with this. Below are some ways OT can help seniors:
Overcome Struggles in Daily Activities
Gardening, dressing, eating, baking cookies, and wrapping presents are all daily tasks that may become more difficult for seniors as time goes on. Occupational therapy (OT)’s goal is to help patients overcome struggles of everyday activities like these and more.
When daily tasks become frustrating, seniors may lose inclination to participate in social gatherings, family outings, and hobbies, which can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness. OT helps seniors find ways to make these tasks easier, which can help seniors find joy in doing activities again.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury in older Americans, so OTs focus on fall prevention with seniors. Some seniors may stop doing the activities they enjoy because they have a fear of falling, so learning methods that prevent falls can help them feel more confident.
OTs also teach seniors balancing and muscle building exercises, which can help keep their bodies strong and alert.
OTs can assess an Alzheimer patient’s ability to complete daily tasks and provide living space adjustments to fit their needs, which can help with:
- Preventing wandering
- Preventing injury
- Maintaining safety
Strokes can cause complications involving vision, balance, speech and cognition, and partial paralysis. OT can help with these complications, as OTs can help stroke patients in multiple ways:
- Teaching patients one-handed techniques for opening packages, cooking, getting dressed, eating, etc.
- Providing equipment to help with activities of daily living
- Recommending adaptations for daily activities
- Treating swallowing difficulties