Occupational Therapy’s Role in Diabetes Self-Management
Mark Besch | posted April 11, 2012 |
For people with diabetes or those at risk, occupational therapists can play a critical role in education and self-management of this systematic, chronic disease. They are an important part of the diabetes care team.
Education means training in ways to modify current habits and routines and develop new ones to promote a healthier lifestyle and minimize disease progression. Occupational therapists assist people in developing simple, measurable and achievable self-management goals that allow them to stay active. These are based on healthy eating, getting active, monitoring, taking medications, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risks.
Some of these goals are multi-faceted: monitoring, for example, includes not only blood glucose testing, but also blood pressure, weight, foot health and “steps walked” to ensure adequate physical activity. Reducing risks means a broad range of behaviors, such as quitting smoking; foot self-inspections; maintenance of personal health records; and regular eye, foot and dental exams.
Overarching all of this are occupational therapists’ ability to motivate patients to track and regularly make appointments with their diabetes health care team, such as physicians, nutritionists and physical therapists.
Occupational therapists have a holistic approach to care because they address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial and sensory aspects intrinsic in the performance of day-to-day life activities. They understand the impact of diabetes on a person’s daily and long-term functioning. The goal of the patient-occupational therapy relationship is to create collaboration to prioritize accomplishments. This is essential with this disease, which requires self-management 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Through education and encouragement, occupational therapists can modify or adapt how their clients perform needed self-care tasks to promote ease and success in achieving their goals in managing diabetes.
Occupational Therapy Month | posted March 27, 2013
National Occupational Therapy month is a time to bring awareness to the benefits and importance of occupational therapy. We want to take this opportunity to thank our occupational therapists for their commitment to improving the lives of thousands of individuals every day of the year.
Fourth Annual WALK! with Aegis Event | posted September 24, 2012
The fourth annual WALK! with Aegis Therapies 2012 is this week, and we’re thrilled to see this year’s participants take charge and promote active aging! We’re expecting one of the largest nationwide turnouts with over 670 registered locations and thousands of participants joining the WALK! with Aegis Therapies.
Occupational therapy helps those with Alzheimer’s | posted August 16, 2012
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating illness that affects at least 5.4 million Americans. Occupational therapists offer treatments that can promote safety and enhance a patient’s quality of life, in addition to providing comfort and care for people with the disease and their families.