One of the most difficult challenges of the aging process is losing the ability to do things that once came so easily to you. When people, especially seniors, have a harder time completing everyday tasks, they tend to feel confused, frustrated, and in some cases, embarrassed. Luckily, your family member does not have to put up with feeling this way. There are ways you can help your elderly loved ones gain more control over their life. What we are referring to is occupational therapy in White Plains and Port Chester NY. By enrolling them in an occupational therapy program with Healing Therapeutics, they will be given the opportunity to gain some of their independence back. In today’s blog, let’s talk about how occupational therapy is providing support for seniors.
What Is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Many people understand what physical therapy is, but they may not be totally clear on what occupational therapy entails. Allow us to provide a refresher: Occupational therapy or OT is the process that involves helping people at all stages of life (both young and old), to develop, maintain, or recover the skills they need for daily activities that are both meaningful and necessary. The type of OT a patient receives is contingent on their needs. For instance, an elderly person with Parkinson’s will receive a different treatment than a child who is dealing with scoliosis. OT’s will also educate and support the patient’s team (e.g., kids, caregivers, etc.) to ensure that everyone understands their role in relation to the patient’s care program. So, what can occupational therapy in White Plains and Port Chester NY do for an aging patient? Let’s closely examine all the benefits.
Overcoming The Challenges Of Everyday Life
A big part of the job of OT’s is to help patients deal with the challenges of everyday life. For many tasks that come so easy to the rest of us, it may not be as easy for seniors to perform. Walking, eating, lifting objects, can go from simple tasks to completely painstaking. When they come to the realization that they cannot perform these daily tasks, this is when most people will feel less inclined to attempt to participate in other aspects of their life, such as social gatherings, family outings, or hobbies you once enjoyed. Feelings of depression and isolation can quickly follow. This is where the role of an occupational therapist is so significant. OT’s will work closely by your side and teach you about various exercise and rehabilitation techniques that make completing daily tasks much easier. It starts with focusing on improving the fine and basic motor skills, strength, dexterity, and range of motion. Even if improvements made in these areas are small, they can make a world of difference when it comes to fulfilling an everyday task.
Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 have a fall every year? While falls may sound like a minor issue, these statistics paint a different picture of how dangerous it can be for an elderly person to fall. The thought of your family member falling without anyone around to help them is scary. Thankfully, occupational therapists are well aware of the prevalence of falls and are more than capable of addressing it. Therapists will teach patients preventative methods to avoid falls. They will also teach them about balance and might incorporate some muscle building exercises into their regime, so that the body remains strong and alert for years to come.
It’s easy to just think about the physical incentives when discussing occupational therapy. However, its mental benefits cannot or should not be overlooked. OT’s who meet with patients for the first time will evaluate their cognitive abilities as well as their physical. Take a dementia patient, for example. Not only will the OT assess the areas of strength and weakness, a care plan will be developed, which involves maintaining the strong areas and improving the weak ones. All elderly folks, to some extent, suffer from some degree of memory loss. The following are the ways that occupational therapy in White Plains and Port Chester NY assists with regaining memory skills:
- Engaging in memory-enhancing activities like puzzles, crossword puzzles, or matching games
- Placing stop signs on front doors or gates for elderly patients who tend to wander or get easily disoriented
- Teach caregivers non-defensive techniques to help them deal with patients who are dealing with sudden personality changes.
- Showing caregivers techniques that won’t further confuse the patient’s memory, such as placing out a limited amount of clothing options in case the patients forgets what season it is
The above-mentioned are a few examples of how an OT can help improve a patient’s memory, making coping with memory loss easier.
A Better Outlook On Life
Apart from memory restoration, the other obvious mental benefit of regular OT treatment is that it gives your elderly parent or grandparent a better outlook on life. By actively participating in treatment, the patient will quickly realize that although the body and mind are undergoing substantial change, they can still lead a purposeful life. Therapy is empowering and can give patients the tools to make the most of their years.
Providing Support For Seniors: Occupational Therapy In White Plains And Port Chester NY
As you can see, occupational therapy offers a host of benefits, even more than what we mentioned in this post! If you or a loved one are in need of occupational therapy in White Plains and Port Chester NY, Healing Therapeutics is ready to answer the call. Contact us today to discuss the steps for starting a treatment plan!