Senior Occupational Therapy for ADLs

A occupational therapist helping a senior man walk.

Are you familiar with occupational therapy? If you or a loved one have been affected by an illness, injury or disability, occupational therapy can help. In fact, many occupational therapists work with seniors to help them maintain their independence.

Seniors often have a specialized focused when it comes to occupational therapy. The goal is to help seniors focus on tasks and activities that they are still capable of doing. For many seniors, this means working on basic tasks like bathing, eating and mobility to maintain their lifestyle.

In this post, we’re going to highlight the importance of occupational therapy for ADLs. If you’re interested in you or your loved one reaching a higher level of independence and wellness, keep reading.

What Are ADLs?

ADLs stands for activities of daily living. As we naturally age, it can become more difficult to perform these responsibilities throughout the day. For seniors, there are 5 main ADLs which include:

  • Eating: being able to feed yourself and in some cases, prepare your own meals.
  • Personal Hygiene: this includes bathing, grooming and taking care of dental needs.
  • Continence: you have the physical and mental ability to use the bathroom and clean yourself when you have to.
  • Mobility: having the ability to go from sitting to standing, getting in and out of bed and being able to walk short distances.
  • Dressing: you can dress and undress yourself while making the right clothing choices.

While physical therapy focuses on building strength and flexibility, occupational therapy helps seniors keep their ability to do the tasks above. And while ADLs might seem basic, they play a large factor in your daily independence.

How Does Occupational Therapy Work?

Before any therapy starts, an occupational therapist will take the time to evaluate your physical and mental ability. To gauge this, you’ll be asked to perform some of the tasks above. From there, they will observe to see how much assistance you need to complete them.

The important thing to remember, is to not push yourself during this test. It’s okay to need a little extra help. And by being honest, your occupational therapist will be able create a more personalized therapy plan for your needs. While this plan can seem a little overwhelming at first, occupational therapy is key to helping you return to an independent lifestyle.

Occupational Therapy and Assistive Devices

Another large aspect of occupational therapy is how assistive devices are brought in to help. The goal is to make any ADLs that you might be struggling with easier. For example, if you have trouble getting in and out of the shower, your occupational therapist might have grab bars installed. That way, you can have an easier transition.

It’s natural to feel uncertain about assistive devices during occupational therapy. But it’s possible that these devices will only be used until you’ve recovered. And if that’s not the case, having grab bars or weighted utensils are worth it if it means you get to keep your lifestyle.

ADL Occupational Therapy is Always Changing

Normally, change is seen as a bad thing. But that’s not the case when it comes to ADL occupational therapy. During occupational therapy, your condition is always being monitored. If you show progress completing ADLs, your plan will be adjusted to give you more freedom.

Even if you fall behind or aren’t meeting your goals, changes will be made to help get you there. No matter how your therapy is progressing, the goal of occupational therapy for ADLs stays the same. Use meaningful activities to improve your ability to perform ADLs and be engaged in an independent and active lifestyle.

Discover Expert Senior Rehabilitation and Occupation Therapy Near You

At Advent Christian Village, our expert team works to give seniors the support they need to live their best life. We strive to help each senior under our care to reach their highest level of wellness. That’s why our occupational therapists will work with you and your family to develop a customized care plan for your needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the occupational therapy services at Advent Christian Village, our team would love to hear from you. Contact us today to see how we can help support your ideal retirement lifestyle.

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