• January 15

The Many Ways in Which Occupational Therapy Can Help the Aging Person

As our bodies age, we experience gradual, and sometimes sudden changes in our ability to lead productive and happy lives, often secondary to changes in our physical and emotional well-being. Estate planning lawyers are experienced with working with people going through these changes in their lives, and among many other things, are specialists in helping the aging adult adapt to and overcome the obstacles that arise in the later years of life. Here are some of the common issues in the aging adult that occupational therapists are trained to deal with:

Living at Home While You Age

Some of the things estate planning lawyers can help provide in documents you create include: 

  • Therapists perform a thorough evaluation of both you (the client) and the home to assess your abilities and safety within the environment.
  • Creating a plan for you to meet the needs of living independently, such as buying groceries, attending social events, making doctor’s appointments. This can involve a driving assessment or hands-on tutelage in navigating the public transport system.
  • Suggesting home improvement measures that can help avoid unfortunate and unforeseen events commonly befalling older people.

Living with Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain and disability in the elderly. Occupational therapists can help with this. Some of the things they made do include: 

  • Recommending adaptive equipment personally suited for you, so that your joints bear less stress throughout the day. They will also provide training for you to learn how to use it.
  • Evaluating your daily activities to tailor adaptive equipment or assistive devices to help protect your joints.
  • Recommending therapeutic exercises and activities proven to decrease stiffness and improve strength.

Fall Prevention

Occupational therapists can recommend furniture arrangement for optimal spacing and hazard prevention. Some of these things may include: 

  • Performing a complete home evaluation, pointing out commonly hazardous items that can lead to falls in the elderly. We also assess appropriate locations for installing fall preventive devices such as grab bars, railings, non slip strips, and more

Living with Decreased Vision

Conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy all become more prevalent as one ages. An occupational therapist can: 

  • Recommend appropriate lighting or changes to lighting to reduce hazard risk.
  • Teach skills to use remaining vision effectively, such as eccentric viewing, visual tracking, and others.

Recovering from a Stroke

An experienced therapist can show and train you in one-handed techniques to expand your ability to perform daily functions with diminished physical capabilities. These functions can include getting dressed, using a computer, preparing meals, and performing fine manipulative tasks

Driving Safely While Aging

If issues are identified during a physical exam, occupational therapists can explore various adaptive tools at our disposal to help overcome them. OT’s can: 

  • Address the physical aspects of driving, from getting in and out of the cars, managing health and mobility devices (e.g. BiPAP breathing machines, walkers, etc.).
  • Work with professionals at official “CarFit” events that focus on finding the right vehicle fit for each individual person.

This list above is extensive, but not comprehensive. At law offices, like WB Moore Law, a compassionate team of estate planning lawyers can help the elderly adapt to life by overcoming every obstacle imaginable. If you or a loved one are experiencing changes in physical or mental ability due to health issues, aging, or a combination of the two, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer to help make sure you and your loved ones are cared for. An estate planning lawyer can appoint a medical power of attorney who will make medical decisions for someone as they age and may not be able to do it themselves anymore. 

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