March 27, 2023
Occupational Therapy Month
One of the hardest parts of the aging process is losing the ability to do simple everyday things. When people lose the ability to complete these tasks, they tend to feel frustrated, confused or embarrassed. Luckily, there are ways to help your loved one gain more control over their life. One of those ways is to work with an occupational therapist.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Many people understand what physical therapy is, but occupational therapy is less widely understood. 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 become more difficult. Occupational therapists also educate and work with the patient’s support team to ensure everyone understands their role.
What an OT can do to help the senior population:
Overcome Struggles in Daily Activities
For seniors, partaking in normal daily activities such as walking, eating, dressing, etc., can become a large and exhausting task. When these daily tasks become frustrating, seniors may lose the inclination to participate in social gatherings, family outings or hobbies, causing an increased feeling of depression and loneliness.
OT helps seniors find ways to make these tasks easier by restoring function, identifying compensation techniques or adapting the environment. OT helps patients improve their fine motor and basic motor skills, strength, range of motion and dexterity. Even small improvements in these areas can make all the difference when it comes to completing everyday tasks.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury in older adults, so OTs focus on fall prevention with seniors. OTs work on restoring balance and building skeletal muscle mass, which can help keep their bodies strong and alert and decrease the risk of falls. 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 and comfortable.
OTs can assess and evaluate cognition and create a plan focusing on enhancing strengths and improving weaknesses. OT can help improve memory and make coping with memory loss a bit easier by:
- Engaging in memory-enhancing activities
- Adapting the environment to prevent wandering or injury
- Teach caregivers compensation techniques
Strokes can cause complications involving vision, balance, speech and cognition and partial paralysis. OT can help with these complications, and OTs can help stroke patients in multiple ways:
- Teaching patients one-handed techniques for opening packages, cooking, dressing, eating, etc.
- Providing equipment to help with activities of daily living
- Recommending adaptations for daily activities
- Treating swallowing difficulties
For further information on how an occupational therapist can benefit you or your loved one, contact Aegis Therapies.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Aegis Therapies welcomes all persons in need of its services and does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or source of payment. Interpreter Services are available at no cost. Please visit your local Aegis Therapies location for assistance. Servicios de interpretación están disponibles sin costo. Visite su sucursal local de Aegis Therapies para recibir asistencia. 我们提供免费传译服务。请探访您的本地Aegis Therapies地点以获得协助