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Occupational Therapy for Seniors Has Many Benefits

February 14, 2022

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As we age, we become more prone to illness, memory loss and injury. Occupational therapy is a type of rehabilitation that uses daily activities to help people of all ages live more independent and productive lives after a medical emergency. Over one-third of occupational therapists (OTs) work with seniors to help them maintain their independence. But what is occupational therapy and how can it benefit seniors? 

One of an occupational therapist’s most important roles is promoting self-reliance. That’s why occupational therapy for seniors takes a somewhat unique stance by focusing on what the person can do. An OT will then use that knowledge to create an individualized plan that incorporates meaningful everyday activities to help older adults live a better quality of life.

5 Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Seniors

  1. Overcoming daily life challenges. Occupational therapy helps seniors adjust to and overcome some of their daily challenges. These might include getting ready for the day, preparing and eating meals, doing housework and yardwork, and socializing with family and friends.
  2. Preventing falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors. Occupational therapists can create a program to help seniors improve their balance, evaluate tripping hazards around their home, and problem-solve ways to stay active while avoiding falls.
  3. Making home environmental modifications. Occupational therapists can show seniors how they can optimize their homes to allow them to safely handle activities of daily living  by adding devices like a bathtub bench or grab bars.
  4. Encouraging better health and wellness. Occupational therapists can provide a unique educational approach to help seniors redesign their lives to experience greater quality of life, promote longevity, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle all around.
  5. Working with caregivers. Occupational therapists can assess your loved one’s needs to help you and your family make better decisions about your family member’s care. An OT can also help alleviate some of the stress of being a caregiver by showing your loved one ways to care for themselves and providing your family with other caregiving resources.

Discover the Benefits of Occupational Therapy at Francisan Ministries

Occupational therapy is key for seniors diagnosed with dementia. Occupational therapists at  a memory care community — like those offered by Franciscan Ministries — are trained to assess a senior’s cognitive ability and use behavioral modification to help address changes in their personality. In the later stages of dementia, the therapist can focus on simplifying activities or providing sensory stimulation like soothing music to help improve quality of life.

If you have a family member faced with physical, mental, or psychological challenges, one of our OTs can create a tailored plan that works for your loved one and your family. To learn more about the occupational therapy services provided by Franciscan Ministries, contact us today.