Occupational therapy is all about improving quality of life, and that improvement can have a profound effect. While physical therapy and short-term rehab are typically focused on recovering from a specific malady or setback, occupational therapy takes a holistic look at everyday life, and provides seniors with the tools and skills needed to get more out of every day.
Making Every Day Easier
The activities of daily living are those activities that get us through the day, from brushing our teeth, to getting dressed, to making breakfast and heading downstairs. When we’re talking about occupational therapy, we’re talking about working to make these activities possible.
Part of this work involves exercises designed to increase strength and dexterity. These exercises help to alleviate pain, relearn old skills, and improve physical health. The other part of the process is to take a look at a senior’s environment and make substantive changes. The kitchen is one place where small changes make a big difference. Something as simple as thicker utensils can restore your ability to eat independently. A semi-automatic cutting board with a built-in, pivoting knife can make meal preparation infinitely simpler. In the bathroom, benches and handles can provide a similar return to independence.
Bolstering Long-Term Health
The holistic perspective taken by occupational therapists means that they’re looking beyond today; they’re asking what it takes to live a healthy life for many years to come. They truly have the ability to help seniors redesign their lifestyle. The return of independence brings with it a welcome sense of self-reliance, something that may have been missing before beginning occupational therapy. The physical benefits of doing more for yourself every day help keep you healthy and active. But the mental benefits are perhaps even more profound. As we lose capabilities, we begin to feel isolated and depressed. This takes a toll on mental and physical health. Occupational therapy helps us to feel more ownership over our lives, and that boost helps keep us healthy and happy.
This improvement in mental well-being is just the push many seniors need to turn their entire sense of self around. Those feelings of depression and isolation? They feed on themselves, stealing more and more from seniors. The new perspective provided by occupational therapy makes a pivotal difference in quality of life and longevity.
Safety and Security
A key part of independence is the ability to feel safe in your own home and under your own care. That’s essential for you and your loved ones. Just as an occupational therapist will take a look at your home and your life to simplify activities, they will also take an eye to safety. Non-skid flooring, chair lifts for staircases, assistive technology for hearing loss—an occupational therapist can help bring all of this to your home.
And then there’s fall prevention, one of the leading causes of injury for seniors. In addition to making home modifications to make falls less likely, occupational therapists also teach seniors methods and techniques to build strength, conserve energy, and prevent slips and falls. They can modify these techniques to help you address vision, hearing, or other challenges.
Contact Princeton Health Care Center
If you’re curious about the impact that occupational therapy can have on your life, schedule a consultation with Princeton Health Care Center here in Princeton, WV.