Occupational therapy is a healthcare discipline that helps people of all ages who are experiencing physical, cognitive, and sensory problems develop, maintain, and/or regain the skills they need to lead independent and productive lives.
For the elderly, occupational therapy can help them overcome everyday challenges associated with diminished mobility and cognitive function. Occupational therapists are essentially trained to take a unique approach to help elderly patients live happier, healthier, and longer lives.
In this article, we are going to delve into the specific benefits of occupational therapy for aging patients.
Performing Activities of Daily Living
For many elderly people, especially those living with debilitating medical conditions, carrying out self-care activities, such as dressing, bathing, and eating, can be a struggle. When they can’t do daily tasks as basic as these, they are also less likely to get involved in other aspects of their lives, such as connecting with their family and friends. This can result in feelings of hopelessness and/or isolation.
Occupational therapists work with elderly patients to teach them exercises and rehabilitation techniques, which are geared toward helping enhance or regain their basic motor skills, dexterity, range of motion, and strength and ultimately making it a lot easier for them to perform self-care activities.
Preventing Fall Accidents
Occupational therapists are adept at recognizing and addressing elderly patients’ fear of fall accidents, which can significantly limit them from performing their daily activities.
By conducting home assessments and recommending modifications, such as the ones mentioned below, occupational therapists eliminate safety hazards, consequently helping prevent fall accidents and enabling patients to feel secure within their homes.
- Getting the necessary durable medical equipment (e.g., bath benches, bedside commodes, and raised toilet seats)
- Installing grab bars and handrails wherever they are needed
- Installing bed rails
- Getting adequate lighting
- Decluttering or removing small furniture pieces, throw rugs, boxes, and electrical and phone cords from walkways
- Getting nonslip bath mats
- Repositioning bedroom furniture
Restoring or Enhancing Memory
Occupational therapists are trained to assess both the physical and cognitive abilities of elderly patients, many of whom suffer from some degree of memory loss.
The following are a few of the ways occupational therapists help elderly patients enhance or restore their memory:
- Initiating memory-enhancing activities (e.g., puzzles and matching games)
- Labeling doors or putting up signs for elderly patients who tend to wander due to disorientation or confusion
- Coordinating with caregivers and teaching them strategies or techniques, which help minimize confusion in patients
Occupational Therapy Services in Wooster, OH
At Wooster Community Hospital, our highly qualified occupational therapists are committed to providing elderly patients with compassionate, evidence-based, and comprehensive care, helping them successfully regain their independence, restore their sense of dignity, and make the most of their golden years.
To schedule an appointment with one of our occupational therapists, call our staff at (330) 263-8100. You may also fill out this convenient and secure form, and we’ll get in touch with you as promptly as possible.