Occupational therapy is something that is often recommended for seniors. It can be very beneficial for seniors who are aging at home. Occupational therapy and home care assistance services can make it possible for seniors to continue living at home even if they develop medical problems or physical challenges.
The sooner seniors get started with occupational therapy the more it can help them. Occupational therapy can be done at home with a professional therapist. Home care assistance or family caregivers can also help seniors do the exercises prescribed for their unique needs.
Some of the things that seniors and their family members should know about occupational therapy are:
What Is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a holistic healthcare practice that helps seniors remain independent by helping them maintain muscle strength and flexibility. With exercises that are designed to help seniors maintain basic skills like manual agility, balance, and simple movements occupational therapy helps seniors continue to be able to perform activities of daily living like opening drawers, getting dressed, and other everyday tasks.
What It Can Do For Seniors
Occupational therapy exercises are designed to help seniors improve their abilities like:
- Activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, and eating)
- Using adaptive equipment (such as shower chairs, or equipment to make daily tasks easier
Planning and making the most of daily routines
- Learning techniques to aid in memory, concentration, and executive functioning (e.g., planning and prioritizing, functional cognition)
- Preventing falls
Your Senior Parent Will Get A Personalized Therapy Plan
Part of the process of getting started in occupational therapy is having a unique assessment done. Your senior parent will meet with a trained occupational therapist to assess your senior parent’s current skill level, talk to them and you about goals, and then create a personalized roster of exercises to help achieve those goals.
It Can Be A Group Activity
Occupational therapy can be done at home if your senior parent has a hard time getting out of the house. But, if your senior parent can go out and needs to socialize more there are occupational therapy classes and groups offered at many senior centers and gyms. Your senior parent can make friends, improve their physical abilities, and socialize at regular occupational therapy classes.
It’s Great For Rehab
Seniors who are returning home after a hospital stay due to a fall or an illness can benefit quite a bit from occupational therapy at home. After being bedridden for a long time your senior parent may need extra help walking, moving, and getting used to performing activities of daily living again. Occupational therapy can help your senior parent regain their confidence, their abilities, and their independence. If your senior parent is recovering from an illness or a fall talk to their doctor about occupational therapy at home.
It Has Cognitive Benefits, Too
Occupational therapy isn’t just excellent physical exercise for seniors. The exercises challenge seniors cognitively and can be a “brain workout” as well as a physical workout.