You may have heard of physical therapy, but occupational therapy is not as well-known. Occupational therapy is a process that involves helping individuals from all life stages maintain, develop or recover the skills they require for day-to-day activities. If you’re considering occupational therapy but aren’t sure how it can benefit you, you’ve come to the right place.
Occupational Therapy Can Prevent Falls
In the United States, at least one in four Americans over 65 years of age experience a fall each year. More surprisingly, an elderly individual is transported to an emergency room due to a fall every 11 seconds. The statistics for fatality are even more concerning – every 19 minutes, someone dies from a fall. For younger individuals, a fall may seem like a minor issue, a slight inconvenience even. However, when an older adult falls, it can lead to grave complications and often, even death. This is why developing and maintaining muscles and one’s sense of balance is crucial as people age. This is especially true for older adults who live alone. Occupational therapists are known for teaching individuals exercises to improve these areas to reduce the risk of falls.
Occupational Therapy Can Help with Rehabilitation and Memory Retention
Occupational therapy provides more than just physical benefits. During a person’s first visit to consult an occupational therapist, their cognitive and physical abilities are first evaluated. For elderly individuals who are dealing with memory-related conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, their areas of strength and weakness will be identified. Next, the therapist will develop a care plan to primarily maintain the strong areas while improving their weaker areas. The various ways occupational therapists help individuals regain and retain their memory include:
- Teaching caregivers non-defensive techniques in case their loved one experiences sudden personality changes
- Engaging them in games and activities known to enhance one’s cognitive skills and enhance their memory
- Placing clear signs on gates or front doors for elderly individuals who frequently wander or get disoriented easily
Occupational Therapy Can Help with Home Modifications
For older adults who have lived in their homes all their lives, it is easy to miss parts of the home that are simply no longer safe. Potential hazards in homes include:
- Sharp edges and corners
- Slippery floors especially in bathrooms
- Steep staircases
- Rugs and carpets that can gather and bunch when you walk over them
As an occupational therapist assesses one’s living space, they will come up with recommendations for modification in order to create a safer living environment, on top of how to use these modifications. Modifications may include:
- Home monitoring and alert systems
- Slip-resistant flooring
- Wheelchair ramps
- Handrails and grab bars in the shower and throughout the home
Why Choose The Summit?
Designed with today’s retired population in mind, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing The Summit caters to all residents’ unique needs and preferences. Our community offers full access to resort-style amenities, exclusive senior living programs and exciting events to fill your calendar every day.
If you have any inquiries about our services, feel free to contact us today.