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Friday, March 24, 2017

April is Occupational Therapy Month

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

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According to an article in “Age and Ageing” from 2004 in volume 33, pages 453-460, “occupational therapy interventions for elderly people in the community results in positive outcomes.” Nearly one-third of occupational therapists (OTR) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA) work with the geriatric population. They do a lot of types of treatments and activities, using many strategies. The main goal of helping those in the geriatric population is for them to regain or maintain the highest level of independence possible. It is the hope of most elderly people to stay in their homes as long as possible.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy commits to improving and maintaining the highest level of function possible of its clients so that people can have healthier, more productive and satisfying lives. Occupational therapy dedicates itself to quality health care which includes disease prevention, staying well and rehabilitation services for individuals across the lifespan. As people age, they use more occupational therapy services as a rule.

Effectiveness

Occupational therapy has been proven effective for the geriatric population, with a number of medical conditions and surgical recoveries. Besides working with individual people to increase their strength and regain important life skills, occupational therapists work with a geriatric community to counsel families, local governments and community groups to make sure that each group is doing its part to help older adults maintain their independence.

Conditions

The most common diseases, conditions and surgical recoveries that OTRs and COTAs are involved in for the elderly include: arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, broken shoulder, wrist, hip and knee replacement as well as repair or replacement of these body parts, depression, diabetes, sensory impairments and dementia. The key in geriatric care is to avoid these injuries and illnesses to begin with. To do this, OTRs and COTAs focus on adapting and modifying the performance of activities of daily living that have become difficult or impossible to do because of age-related changes, disorders or disabilities. Occupational therapy provides help with other activities that relate to geriatric clients that still work. They also find ways for elderly patients to be involved in leisure and social activities that are dependent upon the patient's capabilities and interests.

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It is the aim of occupational therapy to improve the ability of elderly people so they can stay in their home. If institutionalized care is required, occupational therapy can enhance their lives there by helping them to maintain their highest level of function there, even if full recovery from a health issue is not possible.

Activities Of Daily Living

Occupational therapy focuses on ADLs because they are necessary for independent living. The basic ADLs include: going to the bathroom, bathing, grooming, dressing, eating and moving from one surface to another, such as moving from a chair to a bed or bathtub. Instrumental ADLs require more complex thinking. These tasks include things like preparing meals, using the telephone, operating a computer, managing finances and medications as well as cleaning; doing laundry, going shopping, and other errands, traveling from one place to another, which includes driving. Driving is quite complicated because it includes integration of visual, physical and mental tasks and being able to coordinate these tasks, which may be mild to moderately impaired as you age. Occupational therapy may help geriatric clients with other activities to help reduce the risks of social isolation and its detrimental consequences. They do this by assisting geriatric patients to maintain social activities they know and encouraging involvement in new ones as well as providing ways to promote continued learning and other mind-stimulating activities, which help promote feelings of self-worth and may help prevent dementia.

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