What do you know about occupational therapy? Occupational therapy is a form of healthcare where the professional assesses a person’s mobility, fine motor skills, vision, social skills, hearing, and mental acuity to help them complete daily activities and responsibilities independently.
This form of therapy can help your mom maintain the ability to live independently when she has health conditions that limit her usual routines. Take a closer look at four health conditions that benefit from occupational therapy.
Dementia is one of the many areas where an occupational therapist is helpful. The therapist can help a parent with Alzheimer’s maintain communication skills, mobility, and fine motor skills for as long as possible. These skills will diminish over time, but the longer your mom can maintain them, the less frustrating it is for her.
Alzheimer’s is just one of many types of dementia that occupational therapy assists with. Parkinson’s, Lewy body, frontotemporal, mixed, and vascular are others.
As you age, the possibility of losing some or all of your hearing is high. Presbycusis, the term for age-related hearing loss, affects about 33% of adults aged 61 or older. It affects 80% of adults over the age of 84.
Hearing loss can impact mood, but it also impacts how well you can handle social events, shopping trips, appointment scheduling, and even hearing what a doctor is saying during an appointment. An occupational therapist can help your mom develop ways to understand what people are saying to her.
Your mom’s therapist can help her learn skills like reading lips or using a hearing aid. She’ll learn tips for making calls or scheduling appointments when it’s hard to hear. If it helps to schedule things online or by email, your mom’s therapist can help her learn to navigate things that way.
After a stroke, there is a lot to relearn. Depending on the severity, your mom may need to learn how to walk again, how to speak again, and how to shower, brush her teeth, use the toilet, get dressed, cook meals, and eat all over again. It’s stressful and takes time.
Your mom’s occupational therapist helps your mom learn how to do as much on her own as possible. Your mom also has to rely on the help of a caregiver and family members, but she needs to be encouraged to use her walker or cane and take care of her immediate needs.
Losing all or some of her vision is possible if your mom has macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or cataracts. With diminishing vision, your mom does need to learn how to identify one object over another, choose the right items at stores, and take care of her daily needs.
These are just a few of the common health issues that benefit from occupational therapy. There are many others, and they can be permanent or temporary issues. While your mom gets the help she needs, you can also learn how best to help her.
When your mom has a health condition that would benefit from occupational therapy, help her make the arrangements. Her doctor is a good resource to help you better understand what she needs. From there, talk to a specialist in occupational therapy to set up an initial consultation.