How Occupational Therapy can assist older adults to maintain their independence longer? [Part 1/3]
Occupational Therapists (OTs) are qualified health care professionals with the skills to identify and address client difficulties in a holistic way. What that means, is that occupational therapists have the skills to assess and identify not only physical issues, but also cognitive and emotional challenges and provide evidence based interventions addressing all aspects of a client’s life.
According the Statistics Canada reported an increase in the aging population due in part to baby boomers getting older and also to longer life expectancy. In addition, Canada’s health care system was not built to meet the challenges of our aging population. Canada’s Medicare system was established to deal largely with acute, episodic care for a relatively young population. Today our system struggles to properly care for patients — many of whom are elderly — managing complex and ongoing health issues. Approximately 75-80% of Canadian seniors report having one or more chronic condition
Occupational Therapists have all the necessary skills to assist seniors in staying independent longer, but to also increase their quality of life. Occupational Therapists are able to modify seniors environments to allow for safe, ergonomic independent function.
Mary lives in a small apartment, however she is having difficulties getting out of bed, pitting on her favourite shoes and getting in/out of her shower. An OT was able to make a home visit and provide Mary with equipment that allowed her to be independent with bed mobility, dressing and showering.