Occupational therapy (OT) plays an integral role in recovery following stroke or major surgery, helping individuals resume activities of daily living, but you don’t need to wait for a serious event to see an occupational therapist. In fact, occupational therapy can help prevent more serious issues, like falls, from happening in the first place.
At Edgemere, we aim to meet the needs of all our residents while ensuring they enjoy daily activities and the highest quality of life. Similarly, it is the goal of an OT provider to help patients maintain their independence while enjoying their highest quality of life. Through their understanding of habits and routines and their holistic approach to treatment, an occupational therapist is uniquely qualified to work with seniors experiencing pain or diminishment of daily activity due to:
- Range of motion issues
- Vision loss
Range of Motion
Range of motion (ROM) refers to the degree of movement you have in a particular joint. A certain range of motion in joints like the hips, shoulders, knees and wrists is required for completing everyday tasks. With limited ROM, you might find those daily tasks difficult or painful. Range of motion can naturally decrease with age, or it might be impacted by surgery or arthritis. A certified occupational therapist will work with you to maintain or improve your range of motion, establishing goals and a treatment plan. Therapies for range of motion issues might include ultrasound, exercises, splints and neuromuscular re-education.
Occupational therapists play a crucial role in stroke recovery. Side effects of stroke can differ for every person, but OT providers offer treatment to help improve daily functioning and independence for those facing permanent or temporary paralysis, memory loss or cognitive impairment. If you’ve had a stroke, your occupational therapist will work with you well into recovery, setting goals and a therapy plan to improve your safety and mobility at home, gain strength and ensure your highest quality of life.
In addition to assisting the individual who had a stroke, the work of occupational therapists helps ease the burden on caregivers and provides them with additional support and education on their role in recovery.
Help with Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline ranges from mild cognitive impairment to serious forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s. While occasionally forgetting someone’s name or where you placed your keys is no cause for alarm, if confusion or forgetfulness start to happen more frequently, it is worth discussing with your physician.
According to the CDC, 11.7 percent of adults over the age of 65 report some form of subjective cognitive decline. Occupational therapists offer behavioral and environmental modifications, like signs and grab bars, that support individuals living with mild cognitive impairment or the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The implementation of safety measures, strategies around daily routines and activities that stimulate emotional connection help provide safety and independence to the affected individual as well as support to their caregivers.
OT for Arthritis
Arthritis, the stiffness and swelling around joints, affects 1 in 4 U.S. adults and can cause mild discomfort to chronic pain that makes it difficult to complete daily activities. For education and treatment for arthritis that ease pain and make it easier to return to enjoying everyday tasks, look no further than your occupational therapist. Through manual therapies, pain management techniques, education and adaptive equipment, your OT provider will work with you to create a plan to manage arthritis pain and live life to the fullest.
Changes in vision or vision loss due to macular degeneration, glaucoma, stroke or another condition can have profound impacts on daily living and cause feelings of frustration or isolation. The holistic nature of occupational therapy can address the physical, mental and emotional challenges associated with vision loss. Your OT provider will work with you to remove environmental obstacles and vision-dependent steps of your daily routine and might also provide you with adaptive equipment to make everyday functioning safer and easier.
The National Council on Aging reports that 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 will fall every year. Many falls happen in or around the home and are often preventable. While an increased risk of falling is not a normal part of aging, it is closely tied to cognitive decline, vision loss and a reduced range of motion, which is why it can be vital to visit an occupational therapist for help with those conditions. An occupational therapist can provide a behavioral and environmental assessment to help reduce the risk of falling in your home so you can remain safe, happy, healthy and independent for longer.
OT at Edgemere Health Center
As a Life Care community, should you require additional health care and support, it is available on-site in the Edgemere Health Center, and the cost is already built into your monthly fees. Our occupational therapists work with residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation as well as provide outpatient services to older adults living in the Dallas area. Talk to your physician if you feel you or a loved one could benefit from the addition of holistic occupational therapy to your regular care plan.
Want to learn more about life at Edgemere and the services offered in our health center? Please fill out the form below or call us at 214-265-9100.