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There are many challenges that manifest itself through an injury, after surgery or aging. It might be possible that any of the above would cause what was once easy for us to accomplish become more difficult. Everyday activities as simple as brushing teeth or getting dressed might become problematic. As with any difficulty, however, there is a way to overcome these changes and adapt to them.

Occupational therapy (OT) is available to anyone who is in need of assistance. The occupational therapist that specializes in geriatric care assists senior citizens with their day-to-day activities and teaches them how to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate these new changes.

Everyday Activities

One of the first things that OTs can help with is doing everyday activities. These therapists teach the patients helpful exercises and educate them on how to adjust their activities to accommodate any physical restrictions. These activities can include everything from bathing and going to the restroom to getting dressed, brushing teeth, and cooking. Some of the other activities that they work with are on more fine motor skills and cognitive skills including crafts, reading, and completing puzzles. All of these exercises will help seniors to stay more active, which will improve their health and quality of life.

Home Modifications

Another thing that OTs can do is perform home inspections and make recommendations on how to make the home environment safer. One of the biggest concerns for seniors living at home is falling. OTs can help reduce this risk by looking at a few different areas. For instance, they will ensure that the walkways and commonly used areas are free of obstructions such as loose rugs or furniture. They can also make recommendations about modifying the bathrooms by putting in slip-resistant flooring and walk-in showers.

Cognitive Assistance

As we age, memory and cognitive processing might possibly decline. A trained OT can assist by delaying any decline with regular mental exercises such as reading and crossword puzzles. But they can also assist by placing notes and reminders around the house, such as daily checklists when you first get up or a checklist/reminder about turning off all the lights and checking the stove and front door before going to bed. By putting these types of reminders in place, they help seniors live an independent life.

Personal Growth and Development

Another important function that an OT can provide is a sympathetic ear. If health declines, many seniors can become prone to depression. But an OT is trained to just talk with the patient and help ease their anxieties. By having someone to talk to, it’s possible to help stave off depression and other negative emotions that might take hold.

GoldLeaf Care is invested in the belief that the highest quality healthcare will, and must, be provided in the home. Our occupational therapists are trained specifically to help geriatric patients with their home needs. By doing this, they assist seniors in being able to remain independent for longer and to learn how to accommodate any new physical and mental limitations.