Witnessing a loved one lose their independence and struggle with everyday tasks in the home can be a disheartening experience. Research shows that there are so many benefits to aging in place including minimizing change and stressors, honouring one’s dignity and independence, and maintaining quality of life. But how can we, as those who care for a senior, make the home environment safer for our loved one as their daily challenges become more complex?
You might consider adding an Occupational Therapist (OT) to your loved one’s care team when you find yourself at this precipice. An OT is an important resource and a fountain of knowledge for adjustments, tools, exercises, and so much more to help your loved one age comfortably and independently in their own home.
Here are just a few situations in which it might be of value to add an Occupational Therapist to your loved one’s care team.
Your loved one recently experienced a fall or is seeking ways to prevent falls in the future. In this case, an OT might offer a mobility assessment or suggest certain modifications to the home.
You’ve received referrals from doctors or other health care professionals to reduce stress or anxiety for your loved one. An OT might assist by incorporating relaxation exercises and techniques into a senior’s routine.
Your loved one’s cognition is deteriorating and they are struggling with memory loss. Occupational Therapists might propose ways to simplify activities and provide sensory stimulation.
Reach out to an Occupational Therapist or ask your care management team for further guidance about how these skilled professionals can help you or your family.