When Is Occupational Therapy a Good Choice for Senior Care?
Occupational therapy is a specialized plan of treatment that helps individuals lead more productive, independent lives. For seniors, occupational therapy can help them recover from injury or illness and maintain their quality of life. The question many seniors have, especially if they’ve recently experienced a physical setback, is whether their condition makes them a good fit to receive occupational therapy services.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a type of treatment that helps people overcome obstacles that stand in their way of living an independent life. As opposed to physical therapy, which focuses on regaining function of gross motor skills, occupational therapy focuses more on daily life skills – such as self-care, household chores, and the fine motor skills involved in certain hobbies or crafts. For example, an occupational therapist may help a stroke victim regain the strength and dexterity to comb their own hair or prepare a simple meal.
When a person has suffered through an injury, illness, chronic pain, or is coping with a disability, occupational therapy can assist them in regaining the life skills that enable them to participate in daily activities. In some cases, the patient learns to use assistive devices to help them with activities that their body currently isn’t capable of handling on its own. Occupational therapy can help restore a person’s self-confidence, a sense of worth, and enhance their quality of life.
Who Is a Good Fit for Occupational Therapy?
While occupation therapy is often prescribed in response to an illness or injury, it’s also an effective therapy option for helping older adults strengthen, recover, and maintain the necessary skills that are sometimes lost due to diminished flexibility, mobility, and range of motion as we age. Occupational therapy can be a good fit for anyone who is experiencing age-related decline in physical function that affects their ability to carry out normal daily activities.
Occupational therapists help treat a number of conditions that can affect the aging population. A few of these conditions include:
- Neurological conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, ALS, and traumatic brain injury.
- Musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, recovery from hip or knee replacement, and fibromyalgia.
- Pain management, including back pain, and chronic pain syndromes.
- Sensory enhancement, such as helping people learn to cope with vision, hearing, or other sensory deficits.
- Chronic diseases that impact daily functions, such as cardiovascular disease, severe diabetes, and cancer.
For seniors, occupational therapy can help them in overcoming the challenges of performing daily activities, work towards solutions that include home modifications that allow for greater independence, promote longevity through improved quality of life, and assist caregivers in making decisions about the health-related needs of their loved one.
Occupational Therapy for Assisting Your Loved One In Adapting to Their Environment
When you or your loved one is need in occupational therapy services, it’s important to look for a provider that takes an approach that’s professional, thorough, and compassionate. We’re here to help your loved one reach their full potential. Contact Princeton Health Care Center to learn more about our occupational therapy and additional therapeutic services.