How Does Occupational Therapy Help the Elderly?

Husband being assisted by wifeDo you know the difference between occupational and physical therapy? If not, then you’re not alone; many people do not understand how occupational therapy differs from physical therapy. The primary difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist is that an occupational therapist assesses the patient’s ability to perform his/her daily “occupations” or activities and the physical therapist focuses on improving mobility. When a physical therapist treats a person with a hip fracture, his goal may be for the patient to walk and use the stairs. An occupational therapist, on the other hand, may recommend bathtub grab bars and a raised toilet seat to increase safety and independence during self-care “occupations.”

Occupational therapy is a treatment that incorporates meaningful activity to promote participation in every day life. A therapist always begins with an evaluation to determine what difficulties a person might be having that interfere with independence. To learn more about how occupational therapy and its benefits when a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, visit Occupational Therapy for the Elderly.


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