Does My Aging Relative Need Occupational Therapy?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

April 5, 2018

Is your aging loved one struggling with basic tasks like getting a snack or putting their socks on?
Do they feel frustrated at their lack of ability and their dependence on you or a senior care assistant?
Have they expressed an interest in regaining some of their abilities after an illness or injury has sidelined them?

 Elder Care in Cranberry Twp. PA: Occupational Therapy

Elder Care in Cranberry Twp. PA: Occupational Therapy

If your elderly relative can no longer do some of the basic tasks they once did, they may be interested in some occupational therapy. April is National Occupational Therapy Month, which makes it the ideal time to investigate whether your aging loved one might be a good candidate.
Every elderly person wants to overcome the challenges that age brings into their life. Illnesses, surgeries, chronic pain and more can interfere with basic things like dressing, showering, grooming, and cooking. Occupational therapy provides daily strategies, environmental modifications and more to promote physical and mental independence.
While seniors will still most likely need the support of family caregivers and senior care assistants in certain areas, success in occupational therapy can give them a sense of their old lives and boost their self-esteem.
Here are just a few of the benefits that occupational therapy provides for the elderly:
-Learning New Techniques
Seniors may encounter failures with daily living tasks when they try to do things the old way. Occupational therapists will work with the elderly patient to teach them new strategies for accomplishing tasks. For example, the occupational therapist may help the senior come up with a daily routine that prioritizes tasks and allows for proper rest period so they have more stamina throughout the day.
-Creating a Friendlier Environment
Occupational therapists have information on all kinds of adaptive technology and tools that can make an elderly person’s environment friendlier for their personal challenges. For example, an elderly person that can no longer feed himself due to arthritic hands can find success with built-up eating utensils. Customized bathtub benches and lessons on how to safely and successfully bathe themselves make hygiene much easier.
-Preventing Injury from Falls
A fall can be devastating to an elderly person and they are often caused by poor balance, dizziness, clutter, improper use of assistive walking devices or carelessness. During occupational therapy, elderly adults are taught how to reduce the risk of falling and how to use canes and walkers to their benefit.
Occupational therapy is just one of several things that you can provide your aging relative that can enhance their daily life in their old age. It fits in well with your own abilities and can support and supplement a regularly scheduled senior care assistant.
The education and assistive devices used during occupational therapy is sure to promote better health and wellness, open the door to a healthier lifestyle and gives seniors more independence as they age. During National Occupational Therapy Month, take the time to see how your loved one may benefit.

If you are considering Elder Care in Cranberry Twp. PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551