Physical therapy helps people regain or improve mobility. Speech therapy helps someone regain or improve speech. Occupational therapy is another form of therapy that senior citizens frequently receive. April is Occupational Therapy Month. Do you know what occupational therapy entails?
What is Occupational Therapy?
With occupational therapy, people focus on how to complete the daily activities of living when there are challenges to overcome. For a child, it can mean overcoming a fear or a disability in order to function outside the home. For seniors, it often helps men and women regain or learn new skills after an illness or injury.
Occupational therapy can help a senior who has had a stroke learn how to navigate the home using a walker. A therapist can go through the home and recommend improvements to increase safety. Once the new devices are installed, the therapist can help the senior citizen learn how to use them.
Seniors might need occupational therapy to learn how to use grab bars to help them stand after going to the bathroom and get in and out of the shower. An occupational therapist can teach a senior how to safely use a stair lift to get up and down stairs.
What is a Typical Session Like?
Occupational therapy sessions vary from person to person and are need-based. The sessions are planned around the things your parent must learn. The action plan is determined during an intake interview and discussions with your mom or dad’s doctors.
Say your parent has had a stroke and is back home. An occupational therapist will come and teach your mom or dad how to safely get out of bed, to the bathroom, in and out of the shower, and then get dressed. It’s done in a step-by-step fashion with plenty of encouragement.
The therapist may move to the kitchen where your parent goes through the steps to make coffee or tea, get a glass of juice, take medications, and get breakfast. It can be frustrating for a parent to relearn these activities. Your parent may be irritated, but you’ll see that irritation turn to joy as a skill is mastered.
Partner occupational therapy with elder care services. As your parent relearns things like buttoning a shirt, opening a jar, and using a fork and knife, a caregiver is there to help. A caregiver can take over laundry to give your parent one less thing to worry about at first. Caregivers also help with transfers, housework, and transportation.
For elder care in Turnersville, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.