Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on the activities of daily living (ADLs) to help people maintain existing skills and live as independently as possible.
Building strength and increasing balance are also goals of the occupational therapist. The first steps to achieving these goals are observation and evaluation. The process works with people of all cognitive and physical levels of functioning.
Individuals with dementia, along with their family members, can seek out a variety of assisted living, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities.
These settings provide the needed levels of care, including many options for therapies. People can ask for referrals from primary care doctors or get help at parcprovence.com.
People Suffering from Dementia
Goals for dementia patients depend on which stage of dementia each patient is experiencing. Overall, the role of OT is to maintain current functioning levels and encourage as much independence as possible.
Someone in the early stages of dementia can help develop a plan based on activities most important to her or him.
The middle stages of the disease allow some participation of the patient to determine strengths and weaknesses. Observation of current skills is a tool to plan what daily tasks will require the most considerable emphasis.
Late stages typically involve working with the patient and the caregiver to solve issues surrounding basic daily needs.
A Variety of Approaches
To accommodate the different ways information is absorbed and retained, a variety of approaches are available to the professional occupational therapist.
One is health promotion that emphasizes the maintenance of current strength and essential skills, such as fall prevention. Remediation seeks remedies to increase range of motion, endurance, and balance.
The maintenance approach involves the therapist observing the positive aspects of ADL skills for a patient.
Supports are then put into place to ensure those skills remain viable as long as possible. The approach of modification focuses on creating a safe and supportive environment that compensates for patient deficiencies.
Additional Ways OT is Critical
As well as working directly with patients, professionals also assist caregivers in making life easier for sufferers.
A significant problem for patients and caregivers is issues regarding behavior. Patients get frustrated with daily tasks, caregivers attempt to help with those tasks, and a meltdown occurs.
Such behaviors disrupt the daily routine and upset the patient. The therapist has the knowledge and skills to simplify everyday tasks, such as hair brushing or setting the table. Anxiety and frustration are not an issue, and the situation does not become a crisis.
Easing the burden of the caregiver helps to minimize conflict while working with patients. An example is demonstrating how to switch focus from getting a task right to just getting the task completed.
Folding clothes is a daily activity in which most patients participate. Wardrobe items do not have to get folded perfectly. The only crucial point is that the patient did his or her best.
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An ongoing resource for solutions and ideas is the OT professional. A patient who is having trouble traversing a staircase will be safer and more independent with a chair lift. The occupational therapist can recommend a brand and a medical supplier to properly install the durable equipment.
Setting up activities and environments that address unique issues and skill levels for a patient are also areas of expertise for therapists.
A patient no longer makes the connection between the season and appropriate clothing. A therapist will suggest that the caregiver or family member place clothing that coincides with the current climate.
The patient can still make choices and be adequately dressed.
Occupational therapy provides services to anyone that requires help with ADLs. Working with dementia patients takes more time and creativity than working with other patients, but professionals are up to the challenge.