What is Occupational Therapy and How Does it Help Seniors?

Occupational therapist works with an elderly woman

It’s Occupational Therapy Month and our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, would love to share a little insight into how these talented and valuable members of the medical community make life easier and better for seniors.

What is Occupational Therapy?

 This is a very broad type of therapy that focuses on helping people of all ages and abilities to gain or improve their ability to take part in daily tasks (occupations) and live better with injury, illness or disability.

Occupational therapists work with seniors to provide support during physical or cognitive changes, to recover from injury, illness or surgery, and to assist with disabilities. This type of therapy takes a very holistic approach to making daily tasks easier, so they are able to evaluate and adapt aspects of the patient’s environment as well as help them on a personal physical or mental level.

Why is Occupational Therapy So Important?

One of the biggest fears for seniors is losing their independence – and an occupational therapist plays a vital role in helping seniors live longer, better and healthier lives, allowing people to stay independent for longer. They work alongside a medical team to develop customized treatment plans that promote self-reliance, physical health and key abilities that strengthen self-care in a range of areas including cooking, eating, grooming and dressing.

Unlike physical therapists, occupational therapists focus on all the activities of daily living rather than on a specific injury or issue. They work with seniors who need assistance regaining mobility, range of motion and other skills that are needed for everyday care.

For seniors with dementia conditions, an occupational therapist can assess a patient’s cognitive abilities, use behavior modification to assist with personality changes, educate loved ones about the condition and develop activities and exercises that provide sensory stimulation, help calm patients or teach coping mechanisms to assist when memory fails.

In addition, their work helps prevent injuries, as seniors who are stronger, healthier and more confident in their everyday tasks are less likely to fall or injure themselves and also tend to recover much faster if an accident does happen. They can also consult on making homes and other spaces safer for a senior.

UMC Assisted Living in Camden County NJ – Actively promoting Independence and Quality of Life for Seniors

 Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent living for seniors. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/ or contact us and book your visit today.

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    205 Jumping Brook Road
    Neptune, NJ 07753
    Phone: 732-922-9800