Occupational therapy is a treatment aimed at helping disabled (physically and/or mentally), sick, and handicapped people, whether elderly, kid, or a person of any age group. The OT practitioners develop plans for the recovery and development of these people across the lifespan. The techniques and procedures used in the therapy vary according to the disability. There are multitudinous duties and responsibilities of an OT practitioner and it all depends on with whom the OT is working. For mental patients, the therapy helps them overcome depression; for children, cognitive skills are developed through occupational therapy; and elderly rehabilitation is provided to seniors.
What Does an Occupational Therapist Do for Elderly?
With aging population and growing number of elderly in the country, the requirement for a health-care provider is also on the increase. The OT who has done specialization in geriatrics assists senior with their day-to-day activities, and aids them to overcome the challenge & the problem they are facing.
The OT uses several techniques and procedure in order to help the patient. S/he provides devices that can make their daily activities easier, offers them personal care that helps them live as long as possible through education, rehabilitation technique, exercises, etc. They also support people with permanent loss of function, provides the recommendation for food, sensory simulations, instruction for improving the environmental condition, etc. They also impart education to the family members on how to provide care to the handicapped.
Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Elderly
1. Overcome The Challenges Faced in Daily-Life
The very first benefit of the therapy is that it can help overcome the challenges of routine life such as bathing, dressing, feeding, etc. Apart from these, the strategies are developed in such a way that it resolves problems like chronic pain, arthritis, and other old age problems.
2. Surrounding Modification
The therapists make the life of elders a lot simpler with convenient devices like built-up eating utensils, semi-automatic cutting boards, etc. The surroundings can also get customized with bathtub bench or handles.
3. Promote Better Health
The therapy has a better impact on the mental and physical health of the senior people. The educational techniques and devices used during the therapy foster longevity, facilitate healthier lifestyle, and make old people sense the greater quality of life.
4. Information Update
Therapists help provide assistance in maintaining an environment equipped with specific media that can adjust according to the sensory changes related to age, and is supportive of processes associated with the learning of old age people.
5. Life Transitions
Elderly people have to go through numerous transition phases in life, like retirement, relocation, widowhood, etc., which may be disturbing. These changes in the life of an elderly can go effortlessly with occupational therapy.
6. Prevent Falls
Old age people often fall because of bone fragility, slower reflexes, loss of footing, and many other factors. These falls are dangerous as they may result in severe injuries such as broken hip. The therapy teaches senior (who are visually impaired, deaf, or disabled in any way) how to stay active, conserve energy, and several techniques, and methods to prevent fall.
7. Assistance to Caregivers
The caregiver of senior people often feels difficulty and pressure helping their family members or the loved ones. The occupational therapy eases out the task of the caregiver as they teach the caregiver on how to make better decisions, and take some of the difficult responsibilities on themselves. Thus, allows them to separate from care-giving duties.