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How Occupational Therapy Can Keep You Safe as You Age 

April 13, 2023

Occupational Therapy Month is celebrated every April to recognize and raise awareness about the significant contribution of occupational therapists (OTs) in helping people of all ages participate in daily activities they need and want to do. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the vital role that OTs play in the healthcare industry and their ability to help people lead fulfilling lives. 

Occupational therapy is a form of healthcare that helps people engage in meaningful activities and occupations to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. OTs provide customized treatments and interventions to help their clients regain independence, manage pain, and achieve their goals. 

OTs use a range of therapeutic interventions to help people overcome the physical and psychological barriers that prevent them from performing everyday tasks. They may work with clients to improve their physical strength and mobility, teach them adaptive techniques, provide assistive technology or equipment, and help them develop coping strategies for managing pain or stress. 

Occupational Therapy Month provides an opportunity to recognize the impact of occupational therapy on people’s lives. It’s a time to celebrate the OTs who help people overcome challenges and improve their quality of life. The month is also an opportunity for OTs to educate the public about the benefits of occupational therapy and the importance of seeking help from a qualified therapist when needed. 

Occupational therapists can help older adults stay healthy and independent in their homes in the following ways: 

Home assessment: OTs conduct home assessments to identify things that may prevent older adults from living independently. They evaluate factors such as accessibility, safety, and mobility. When they spot a potential problem, they recommend modifications that can make the home safer and more suitable for aging in place. 

Adaptive equipment: OTs recommend and provide assistive devices and equipment for the home such as grab bars, raised toilet seats, and shower chairs. These adaptations can make it easier for older adults to go about their daily lives and maintain their independence. 

Fall prevention: OTs develop fall prevention strategies by identifying potential hazards in the home, such as cluttered walkways or loose rugs, and recommending modifications to reduce the risk of falls. 

Functional training: OTs work with older adults to improve their physical and cognitive abilities, such as strength, balance, memory, and attention, through functional training. This training helps older adults maintain or improve their ability to perform daily tasks and reduces the risk of falls or other injuries. 

Caregiver support: OTs provide support to caregivers by teaching them how to assist older adults with activities of daily living. That includes bathing, dressing, and eating. The OT can also help the caregiver manage their care responsibilities. 

Community resources: OTs connect older adults with community resources such as meal delivery programs, transportation services, and senior centers. These and other community services provide social engagement opportunities and support independent living. 

Occupational therapists play a vital role in helping older adults maintain their independence and age in place. We celebrate their unique role in the health of older adults this month and every month.