01 Mar Occupational Therapy and Aging
Productive Aging and Independence
As we age, there is a fear that we will become dependent on others. We are fiercely independent creatures and requiring assistance from others can make us feel invalid. Occupational therapists (OT’s) specialize in supporting a person’s ability to remain as independent as possible through occupational therapy aging techniques. As an OT working in the outpatient setting in Boerne, TX, Jennica Colvin states, “many of my clients come to me because they are doing fairly well, but know they can do better. Clients want to do better in order to prevent falls and dependency on others.”
How Can an OT Support You With Occupational Therapy Aging?
OT’s evaluate a person’s level of dependency upon others and then selects a treatment plan to help that person become more independent. During the evaluation process, an OT will ask how a person is performing with tasks such as eating, grooming, bathing, dressing, and toileting. These skills are called basic activities of daily living (BADL’s). An Occupational Therapist may also inquire how well a person is doing with medication management, driving, intimacy, and mobility inside the home, which are considered instrumental activities of daily living (IADL’s).
An older adult may experience difficulty with daily living skills because of limited motion in their arms after a stroke, hand pain due to arthritis, or balance difficulties associated with a degenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease. An OT can provide the following to increase independence with daily living skills:
- Low vision devices
- Monitored exercise
- Strength and stability exercises
- Adaptive clothing recommendations
- Adaptive equipment such as weighted utensils, elastic shoe strings, or reachers
- Constraint induced therapy (CIT) to promote increased use of a dominant hand
- Splints to promote proper positioning of hands/joints to prevent hand deformity with someone who has arthritis
Jennica Colvin, Owner and Occupational Therapist at Trio Rehabilitation & Wellness Solutions reports, “I see my job as keeping people as independent as long as possible while maintaining a positive quality of life. We do this by being active listeners and providing one-on-one therapy sessions.”
Should you feel you have questions for Jennica at TRIO REHABILITATION & WELLNESS SOLUTIONS please call her at 830.755.6091