As a family caregiver, you want the best quality of life for you elderly loved one. One way to ensure your aging relative stays as independent as possible after an illness or injury is to connect them with an occupational therapist. Because April is National Occupational Therapist Month, it’s an ideal time for you to investigate it and see If our aging loved one would benefit.
What Do Occupational Therapists Do?
Caring for an aging adult often takes a team of dedicated supporters such as family members, friends, elder care assistants, senior service groups, and health care experts. Occupational therapists are health care experts that teach elderly patients how to overcome physical and mental challenges they encounter in their daily life.
Occupational therapists teach skills to seniors that include bathing, dressing, grooming, homemaking, cooking, eating, and more. They show the elderly adults how to approach these typical tasks in ways that accommodate their current condition. The goals of an occupational therapist are to promote independence and the ability to stay in their own home for many years. While the elderly adults will most likely still depend on family members and senior care assistants, they will enjoy small victories every day as they accomplish goals both large and small.
How to Start Occupational Therapy.
Most seniors are referred to an occupational therapist after an illness or surgery before they are released from the hospital. Sometimes, elderly patients need to see both a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. Physical therapists work to heal injuries like damaged muscles. Occupational therapists focus on performing daily activities and adapting to different abilities.
Many occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, and other health care organizations. Some even do home visits. Elderly adults can depend on elder care assistants or family members to transport them to and from their occupational therapist sessions.
Generally, occupational therapist sessions include exercise, rehabilitation techniques, education, and improving dexterity and strength. They will also introduce adaptive technology, which helps the aging adult do regular tasks with their disability. Examples include bath and shower aids, easy-grip utensils and writing aids and dressing sticks that assist seniors in getting their clothes on and off. Family members and elder care aides can step in when the tasks are beyond the aging adult’s ability.
If your elderly relative is no longer able to live alone because they have trouble taking care of their daily needs, an occupational therapist may be able to help. The occupational therapist will be able to assess their specific challenges and come up with a plan to help them achieve maximum functional ability while remaining in their own home.
Successful occupational therapy is a big step toward encouraging the elderly adult to age at home with the help of an elder care assistant, family caregiver, and other friends and family. During National Occupational Therapy Month, you can look into whether that might help your aging relative’s quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Perry, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida