Occupational therapy (also commonly known as OT) is the only profession that helps people, from young children to frail elderly do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities. While seniors might not be “working” anymore, making a pot of coffee or reaching the ground to play with a grandchild are meaningful tasks. Kathy Kirby, an occupational therapist with more than 20 years of experience, shares 5 ways occupational therapy can benefit seniors.
Occupational therapists provide support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. As OTs incorporate helpful modifications patients may resume completing essential daily jobs like taking medications correctly and on time, getting dressed safely and in a reasonable amount of time, or making a trip to the grocery store successfully.
Help Regain Independence
With the help of occupational therapy, many individuals can achieve or regain a higher level of independence than before therapy. Teaching a grandparent to utilize an iPad to communicate with a grandchild or order groceries online opens new doors!
Recommend Home Modifications
When skills and strength cannot be developed or improved, occupational therapists offer creative solutions and alternatives for carrying out daily activities necessary for living day to day. A home safety assessment is a helpful way to see what someone’s needs are in his/her own living area. Occupational therapists are trained to provide input on the placement of helpful adaptations around the home to improve safety, like grab bars and shower chairs.
Create Individual Plans
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, where the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit each individual’s particular goals. OTs look at all aspects of an individual’s routine when designing a plan, and the interventions put in place are made personally meaningful. No plan is the same, from one person to another.
Make the Impossible “Possible Again”
Occupational therapists are creative and can develop new, successful ways to complete a previously impossible task. When a patient begins to use a walker or cane, creativity is key in making sure he/she can get in and out of the car to get to the doctor’s office or move groceries from the car to the kitchen. Occupational therapists make the impossible “possible again.”
At Nye Health Services our outpatient therapy program is a top choice among patients throughout Nebraska and surrounding areas that want to maintain the independence of living at home while recovering from a mild to moderate injury. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient therapy services or to schedule an appointment!