April is Occupational Therapy Month, and here at Piedmont Home Care we wanted to take time to celebrate this very beneficial service. Many of our clients have benefited from sessions with trained occupational therapists, whether it be just one or two sessions or ongoing treatment.
By sharing some of the benefits, we hope more people will become aware of the advantages of occupational therapy, and how it can help enhance the quality of life as we age.
Occupational therapy is a profession that focuses on helping people of all ages do things they want and need through daily activities. Occupational therapists work to promote health and prevent, or help people live better with, injury, illness or disability. For older adults, occupational therapists can bring benefits such as:
Recommending Home Modifications. Something as simple as replacing a toilet with one that’s taller or adding grab bars to the shower can help reduce pain and help avoid falls. An occupational therapist is able to assess your living situation and make recommendations that will help you live easier and safer.
Assistance for Everyday Tasks. For people suffering from arthritis or mobility issues, something as simple as taking a bath or getting dressed can be painful and time consuming. Occupational therapists can provide tips to make these tasks more manageable, as well as exercises to improve range of motion and lessen pain.
Support for Memory Loss. There is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s, but with therapy many patients show improvement in symptoms. Occupational therapists can help patients and their caregivers adapt to memory loss and provide tools such as simple crossword puzzles to
engage the brain, signs around the house for people who are disoriented, and techniques for caregivers working with clients who might suffer personality changes.
Occupational therapists take a holistic approach to health and lifestyle. That’s why you’ll see recommendations for things on the practical side, like figuring out the proper height for grab bars in the shower or increasing the lighting in your home to prevent falls. But they also provide exercises to help strengthen the body for you to continue performing daily tasks, and look at safety issues concerning low vision or driving habits. The goal is to help you live your life to the fullest, and often occupational therapists are instrumental in helping elderly people remain at home rather than having to move to an assisted living facility.
Our nurses and caregivers at Piedmont Home Care are always excited to work with occupational therapists to help our clients improve their quality of life. To learn more about the profession, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association site, where you’ll find resources and tip sheets.