The Silver Tsunami. The Aging of America. However you spin it, there’s no denying a massive generation of Baby Boomers is entering their Golden Years – or the opportunity this poses for therapy clinics and occupational therapists. But this opportunity is two-fold as seniors can benefit greatly from occupational therapy as they age. Let’s take a deeper look at how occupational therapy can improve a senior’s quality of life.
1. Preventing Falls
Each year, emergency rooms in America treat over 3 million seniors with fall injuries. In our older age, falls can be devastating, especially for those who have suffered from or are recovering from other conditions like a stroke. Occupational therapy in recovery or, even better, as a preventative measure, can improve muscle strength, coordination, and balance to prevent falls and help the body maintain hardiness in the case a fall does occur.
2. Maintaining Independence
A study conducted by AARP found that 77% of adults over 50 prefer to age in place and stay in their home long term. Occupational therapy can help older adults maintain their independence and allow them to age in place by combatting the physical and cognitive decline that comes with aging.
3. Maintaining a Full, Active Life
Whether someone prefers to be curled on the couch with a book, to take long walks along the river, or spend every Friday night on the dance floor. Occupational therapy for seniors can help aging adults do just that. And, by being able to continue doing what they love, seniors are less prone to isolation and depression, which can result in a significant decline in their overall health.
4. Improving Cognitive Function and Protecting Against Memory Loss
The physical benefits of occupational therapy for seniors stretch beyond strength and mobility. Occupational therapy can improve perceptual vision and awareness and pattern detection. This means simply getting around and living everyday life is easier and safer for seniors. When it comes to memory, there are endless activities and interventions that can slow and prevent memory loss. Since Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prevalent in the senior community, keeping a mind active and sharp and “working out” one’s memory can have a significant impact in later life.
5. Allowing Faster Recovery
Strokes, pneumonia, and other ailments can destroy lives and are unfortunately prevalent in older populations. Occupational therapy is not only an often-needed necessity in treatment and recovery, but it can strengthen the body and help it bounce back when tragedy strikes.
6. Offering a Positive Mindset
When we are limited in our physical abilities or start to feel less capable in our world, we can feel isolated and less important. When occupation therapy helps keep seniors active, motivated, and empowered, it not only improves their health but their mood and outlook.
Improve Outcomes for Older Adults
Older patients are often disregarded in their lives, but as occupational therapists, we can support our aging population, but we won’t be able to do it alone. Fusion is an EHR designed specifically for physical and occupational therapists. With dynamic and powerful functionality like reporting, billing, and everything you could need to deliver excellent service and generate positive outcomes. Get a demo today to see how Fusion (now for the adult market) can support any size occupational therapy practice.