Aging in place is a common goal that many senior citizens share, but remaining at home while enjoying a higher quality of life often depends on an individual’s ability to remain independent. While some seniors enjoy a healthy, vibrant life well into the golden years; sometimes interventions are necessary, especially when illnesses or injuries cause sudden declines for otherwise healthy individuals. When this is the case, occupational therapy is a commonly used tool that can help seniors to regain functioning and more easily participate in the things they want or need to accomplish. Here are some specific benefits that occupational therapy offers seniors.

Overcoming Everyday Challenges

When seniors have difficulty tying their shoelaces, buttoning their shirts, managing their homes or preparing meals, occupational therapy helps them to compensate for these challenges by creating strategies. Sometimes these might include work around solutions, and at other times, the senior is taught how to think about the activity in a different way or break the activity down into smaller chunks and reduce the complexity of it.


Another important role of the occupational therapist is to provide education to seniors and their family members. With proper instruction, many can learn to conserve their energy, overcome balance concerns, avoid falls and compensate for physical or mental disabilities. Education might also include teaching the individual to use specialized equipment to make tasks easier, such as a grabber to reach high cabinets for someone confined to a wheelchair or voice controlled lights or computer interfaces for someone who is paralyzed.

Environmental Modifications

Sometimes an individual’s struggles are related to more than just their disabilities or medical diagnoses; they may also be due to obstacles in their environment. While educating a senior or helping him to overcome challenges, the occupational therapist might also make some changes within the home. These might include installing grab bars in the shower, adding non-slip mats to the floors or widening doorways and calling on a contractor to build a ramp. All of these changes enhance comfort and safety, and they can make it possible for a senior to remain independent and at home for a longer period of time.

Life’s Changes

Perhaps one of the most important roles that an occupational therapist plays is helping seniors to adapt to life’s changes. These changes can sometimes come on fast, such as when a senior experiences a stroke or heart attack, and they can bring about fear, resentment, frustration and lost willpower. Many therapists work with their clients and family members to help times of transition to go smoothly by empowering them with new skills and teaching them to rely on problem solving abilities they already possess.

Occupational therapy is beneficial for many individuals, and perhaps most of all to seniors who regularly cope with sensitive medical diagnoses, mental health conditions and physical or age related setbacks. Most who agree to receive help report a positive experience and renewed sense of independence. If you or a loved one are coping with a period of transition and might benefit from occupational therapy, Salus Homecare is here to help. Our fully accredited in home occupational therapy is convenient, comfortable and medically endorsed. To learn more, call us and request a free, no obligation consultation.

There is no ads to display, Please add some