One of the toughest parts of aging is losing your independence. And if you have been diagnosed with a condition or are recovering from surgery, occupational therapy (OT) can help to recover skills needed in daily activities. If you or a loved one have been through an injury or illness, therapy is a meaningful and necessary medical strategy to regain previous abilities vital for independent living.
What is Occupational Therapy?
There is a difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapy helps to re-establish a patient’s physical well-being through functional exercise after a physical injury. This type of therapy teaches patients to regain the function needed to do everyday things through stimulating functional cognition and physical practice.
Overcoming Daily Struggles
A big part of a therapist’s job is to help patients overcome the struggles of everyday life. For the elderly, participating in everyday tasks (walking, eating, etc.) can become hugely exhausting as time goes on or after an illness. Patients can become frustrated with the fight and want to give up. Through specialized occupational therapy plans, individuals can regain basic and fine motor skills through relevant exercise and rehabilitation techniques.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from these injuries. As patients attend occupational therapy, their body becomes stronger preventing debilitating further injuries leading to the emergency room, such as falls.
The Role of Occupational Therapy
This type of therapy addresses treatment strategies with people throughout all stages of life, from toddlers to the elderly. Therapists that work with the elderly help keep adults focused on wellness and productive aging while safely reducing health care costs.
Here are a few fact sheets from the American Occupational Therapy Association to provide information on this therapy’s role with a variety of issues related to aging.
- Its Role in Chronic Disease Management
- Occupational Therapy and Prevention of Falls
- Role in Mental Health Recovery
- Role in Sleep
- Role in Skilled Nursing Facilities
Occupational Therapy at South Coast Post Acute
Individuals who come to South Coast Post Acute for therapy receive highly-skilled care for recovery after a hospital stay. We focus on each patient to achieve health, well-being, and to regain self-care skills through engagement in occupation. As one of Southern California’s top-tier post-acute care facilities with a specialty in occupational therapy care, our skilled caregivers develop personalized plans to promote physical and mental wellness for each patient. Contact us today to begin your journey to recovery.