Did you know that April is Occupational Therapist month? You may have questions about what kind of role they can play in your life or that of your loved one. Let’s introduce you to some of the incredible ways occupational therapists help improve the lives of senior citizens and the elderly.

What do Occupational Therapists do?

Occupational Therapists teach recovery methods. They treat those who are injured, ill, or disabled through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. They teach rehabilitation techniques that make completing daily tasks, such as dressing, eating, and bathing, much easier. Occupational therapists help patients improve their fine and basic motor skills, strength, dexterity, and their range of motion.

Occupational therapists work with elderly patients in these 7 ways:

  1. Teach exercise techniques to increase strength and range of motion after a fall, surgery or illness
  2. Work with patients who have a hard time eating, drinking, or swallowing
  3. Prevent falls. Occupational therapists will help with balance issues, and, will help modify one’s home to make sure the environment is safe and efficient to move around in
  4. Teach techniques to re-learn how to walk or talk
  5. Memory rehabilitation. Occupational therapists can make recommendations to adapt the environment to support the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  6. Help with visual impairment. While there is no magic pill to increase eyesight, methods such as pattern detection and spatial recognition can increase confidence when it comes to vision loss.
  7. Work with caregivers as a team. Whether you have family or an in-home caregiver, your occupational therapist will work with them to ensure there is a steady flow of communication so all needs are met.

Sunland caregivers and private duty nurses can help arrange and monitor therapy with occupational therapists. They can advocate for their clients, too, increasing the quality of therapy for their specific needs. Check out our caregiver options and see how we can work as a team with other providers to ensure you or your loved one is getting every resource to lead the best life possible.

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