Seniors are to be looked upon in awe, as they struggle to recover following illness and injury, often displaying great inner strength. Senior living encompasses so many aspects. Let’s look at some of the challenges an elderly person must overcome following injury.
Why Occupational Therapy?
There are many situations that warrant occupational therapy. Typically occupational therapy is required by stroke victims or those who suffered heart attacks, seniors with arthritis, those with permanent disabilities, people who suffered head injuries, and people who suffered spinal cord injury.
Occupational therapy differs from physical therapy in that occupational therapy teaches a person how to perform activities of daily living, while physical therapy focuses specifically on movement of the body. Occupational therapy primarily addresses the question, “How can the patient’s mental and physical health be improved? How can the patient be helped with how to look at setbacks? What can we do to assist the patient to achieve as full a recovery as possible?”
Senior Safety – Coping Techniques
As a result of lower bone density, slower reflexes, and loss of agility among other factors, seniors experience more falls and need more occupational therapy than the younger population do. Occupational therapy is great for helping seniors to learn how to stay active while saving on their energy and more specifically how to improve or maintain their independence while performing activities of daily living. Among other things, senior living skills include learning methods for prevention of falls and other injuries.
Following injury, an occupational therapist will try to:
- do their best to bring a person to the point of self-reliance and independence
- suggest ways to simplify performance of life skills
- teach the seniors how to handle self-care issues
- help caregivers to make informed decisions
- suggest preventative steps that can be taken to avoid future injury
- give tips for emotional and social adjustment
- promote well-being in the patient
Feeling Better – About Oneself!
One of the greatest gifts you can give a human being is independence. The maintenance or returning to a senior of their feeling of being independent and self-reliant will probably boost their feeling of well-being more than anything else. It is interesting to note that studies show that what we do in our lives is linked to who we feel we are and that occupational factors influence our health and well-being.
Occupational therapists therapy should as much as possible take account of the individual’s occupational and social identity when suggesting adjustments to their lives to promote senior safety.
The occupational therapists’ and caregiver’s sensitivity to the patient’s identity in their senior living environment is important and can be an admirable and beautiful aspect of their care.