The major benefit of occupational therapy is to assist people to achieve their highest possible level of independence by overcoming any injury, impairment or trauma that may have impacted on their ability to complete daily activities. In every stage of life, occupational therapy helps people develop, recover or maintain the skills they need to engage in meaningful and necessary daily activities. In particular, occupational therapists can help older adults overcome daily challenges in the following areas:
1. Overcome everyday challenges
Occupational therapists use education, exercise and rehabilitation techniques to help make daily tasks like getting dressed, eating, bathing and using the bathroom easier for people. By focusing on what they can do rather than what they can’t, occupational therapists teach elderly patients to complete daily tasks safely based on their abilities.
2. Recommend home adaptions
Occupational therapists look at a person’s home environment to get a feel for how they move around their home everyday. They recommend environmental modifications to make daily activities easier and safer.
3. Provide support for cognitive impairments
Occupational therapy can be key during early stages of memory loss. Occupational Therapists are able to assess a client’s cognitive ability and help
address any changes in their ability to function through behavioral modification and task adaption.
4. Help with vision loss
An occupational therapist can work with elderly people with vision impairment by assisting them to use activities that promote visual awareness, help them detect patterns and reinforce perceptual skills. An occupational therapist may suggest changes at home and work to assist with daily function.
5. Explore meaningful and purposeful occupations
Occupational therapists can assist people to explore and develop daily activities that provide meaning and purpose to them, adapting to any changes they may experience as they age, in their physical, cognitive and social abilities.
6. Provide caregiver assistance
Occupational therapists are trained to evaluate a caregiver’s situation and help manage or alleviate their workload when necessary, to make sure they’re maintaining a lifestyle in which the patient’s needs are met without sacrificing their own.
Sheraan is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist, BAppSc (Occ Therapy) who specialises in working with adults, adolescents and children in the community where mental health difficulties impact on their ability to perform in their everyday function and participation in the community.
Sheraan has 20 years of experience working at a tertiary level. She has worked in community, inpatient, forensic and residential mental health settings with both children and adults. Sheraan is skilled in providing both individual and group based recovery focussed interventions according to what will be most helpful to the individual person.