When an older person hears they could benefit from Occupational Therapy they might stop and question: “Occupational Therapy? But I don’t have a job!” Regardless of how the name might sound, an Occupational Therapist is a healthcare professional that is trained to specialize in helping people of all ages live more productive and independent lives through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.
Here are a four ways Occupational Therapy can benefit Home Health patients.
Prevention of Falls
Falling at home can be an incredibly frightening experience especially for those who are elderly or living alone. Falls are a leading cause of injury among the elderly, with more than 33% of people 65 or older involved in accidents and falls in the home each year. Occupational Therapists are skilled at evaluating and addressing both the individual and the environment for limitations and hazards that might contribute to a fall. The fear of falling is often both a risk factor and also a consequence of falling. With the help of an OT, an individual can gain confidence in safely performing activities of daily living needed to remain independent and avoid self-limiting behaviors which could result in decreased activity and increased risk of falls.
To age in place in the comfort of their own homes is a goal for many seniors. As people age their needs change but oftentimes their home stays the same. From assessing needs such as adding hand rails and grab bars in the bathroom to identifying hazards like overloaded electrical outlets, Occupational Therapists can help determine what modifications can be made in a senior’s home to better accommodate their changing needs.
An assistive device is defined as any piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Devices may be simple, such as a sock aid, or more complex such as a technologic software or product system. Occupational Therapists have the skills and ability to assess the needs of their home health patients and recommend assistive devices to help them in their daily lives. Whether it is a tablet with a camera to enlarge labels and recipes to a simple “reacher” to pick up light objects from the floor, with the help of Occupational Therapists and Assistive Devices, a home health patient can remain independent and safe in their home.
In order to promote overall health and wellness, a senior needs to maximize their ability to participate in activities that are important and meaningful to them. This is where Occupational Therapy comes in. Occupational Therapists facilitate their clients’ abilities to adapt their daily activities to promote optimal wellness. From teaching strategies on how to conserve energy performing everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and preparing meals to performing assessments on the effect of low vision and providing strategies to ensure safety, Occupational Therapists promote health by looking at all aspects of their patients situation and make recommendations.
If you or a loved one could benefit from Occupational Therapy or to learn more about the services Spectrum Home Health & Hospice has to offer, call 916-696-2444.