Most people might be thinking physical therapy when you say occupational therapy. That’s because they may be used to using the terminology. When a person has been injured and needs a therapist to assist them in their recovery, it’s a physical therapist. For example, a broken hip requires a therapist to help the person be able to walk again and use the stairs. An occupational therapist on the other hand, teaches a person how to move in order to participate as fully in everyday life as possible.
An occupational therapist would recommend a raised toilet seat because it increases safety and independence when using the toilet. When coming into the senior’s home, there would first be an assessment made. This evaluation would show where the difficulties lie. Whether it’s the design of the house or a medical problem your senior has, the occupational therapist is trained in being able to come up with a solution. What is it exactly, the senior needs help with? How can the problem be solved or alleviated? An occupational therapist will find answers.
Examples of how an occupational therapist may be able to help:
- Giving an elder with arthritis some help and advice on how they can protect their joints, conserve energy and still accomplish the things they need to do.
- Teach a person who has a prosthesis how to put it on and take it off.
- Help an elder who is experiencing memory impairment to organize their drawers and shelves using labels.
The occupational therapist would give ideas to you on how you can best interact with and enjoy activities with your elderly loved one. This is especially useful in the mid and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Some examples of how they can help include:
- Giving recommendations on how to adapt the home to improve safety for your elderly loved one
- Helping you find social and emotional help such as support groups
- Assess the falling risks of your senior
- Recommend an exercise or stretching program which will assist in preventing muscle contractions and pain
- Give ideas to you and the caregiver on activities which would be beneficial in calming the elderly person who is getting anxious
Occupational therapy would take place in the senior’s own home when it relates to teaching the senior how to move and function in her own surroundings. It wouldn’t take the place of her in-home care provider; occupational therapy is a temporary type of therapy for the elderly person.
You can support the occupational therapist’s efforts by encouraging your loved one to continue doing the activity they were taught, whether it’s staying organized or learning how to move around more safely in the home.
The caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare are available to talk with you and your family about all of your home care services needs. SYNERGY HomeCare is an elder care agency providing quality and affordable home care services in Bellaire, TX and the surrounding areas. Call us for more information at 713-364-0756.