The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Seniors

Occupational therapy is often misunderstood. Unlike physical therapy, it’s not solely focused on improving how the body performs physical movement. Instead, occupational therapy focuses on meaningful engagement in everyday life. It aims to help people optimize their ability to perform activities important to live life at home or other places after an illness, injury or surgery.

What types of conditions require occupational therapy?

Because occupational therapy is about living your best life, many conditions can benefit from these services. In a skilled nursing facility, each person’s individual needs are taken into consideration when the therapy team builds a personalized care plan. Occupational therapists work with a person’s care team to develop a personalized plan of care that addresses the individual’s various needs. Some of the conditions that can benefit from occupational therapy include:

  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Dementia
  • Poor balance
  • Vision impairment
  • Hip or knee replacement
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal injury
  • Heart attack

How does occupational therapy help?

Occupational therapy helps people regain skills or adapt their skills to fit their current abilities.

  • Activities of daily living – Occupational therapy helps people with everyday activities, such as dressing, grooming, eating, and going to the bathroom. Some of these activities may be challenging after an illness, injury or surgery, and occupational therapists can help people find new ways to perform these activities. Occupational Therapists help improve basic motor skills, strength, dexterity, range of motion and mobility.
  • Preventing falls – Occupational Therapists can help people improve their balance and prevent future falls. This may include specific exercises and modifying one’s environment to remove tripping hazards and improve the ease of navigation.
  • Addressing vision impairment — Occupational Therapists can help people improve their perceptual vision, pattern detection, and vision awareness. They can also help seniors adapt to challenges from poor vision by offering adaptations, such as color-coding items for easy identification or teaching the use of adaptive tools such as magnifiers.
  • Adapting to cognitive challenges — Occupational Therapists can help people adapt to cognitive challenges by using memory-enhancing activities and offering solutions, such as labeling the environment with signs or educating caregivers on effective techniques to help their loved ones.
  • Home modifications – For seniors who live at home, an Occupational Therapist can help suggest modifications to make life easier. From grab bars and slip-resistant flooring to power lift recliners and shower benches, these modifications can help enable people to maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Trio Healthcare Can Help

At Trio Healthcare facilities, our expert rehabilitation therapy teams create a personalized care plan for each individual we serve. No matter your or your loved one’s goals, our physical, speech and occupational therapists will help them improve their function and quality of life. To learn more about our long-term and short-term care and comprehensive rehabilitation therapy service, find a location near you.