At Querencia, we want our residents to wake up every morning and seize the day. Being active and engaged in an essential part of independent living. But living the lifestyle you want starts with protecting your health and well-being, which is why we offer a continuum of high-quality health services to the residents who have come to call our Austin, Texas, community their home.
Occupational therapy is one of those services. You may not know what exactly occupational therapy is yet, but we can help you better understand how it can help older adults hold on to their independence by ensuring they are able to perform the activities of daily living.
What is occupational therapy?
Physical therapy and occupational therapy share a number of similarities, but there are key differences that set them apart. Both are types of rehabilitative care aimed at improving your condition or quality of life, often due to an injury, surgery or illness. But whereas physical therapy is focused on physical movements, occupational therapy takes a broader approach, looking at how your body enables you to function independently in your daily life. The goal is to enable you to perform everyday activities safely and effectively, allowing you a sense of independence.
If you are recovering from an injury or surgery, managing pain, or living with a neurological, joint, hand, developmental or psychological condition, occupational therapy may be recommended.
How can occupational therapy help me?
Quality of life is critical, no matter your age. But when you are an older adult, quality of life can often be linked to independence and productivity. Occupational therapy is a means to that end, whether you are recovering from a stroke, living with arthritis or dealing with impaired vision. If your condition or illness is affecting your ability to complete various day-to-day tasks, an occupational therapist can help develop a plan that will help you regain a sense of control in your life.
Here are three conditions common to older adults that can benefit from occupational therapy.
Millions of people around the globe live with dementia. For older adults, it can make the aging process even more challenging. Finding themselves unable to perform activities of daily life as once they did can lead to anger, frustration and a decline in quality of life. With a focus on the tasks of everyday living, occupational therapy can help older adults with dementia regain a sense of independence. An occupational therapist will analyze their current cognitive level and develop a functional program designed specifically for their needs.
Occupational therapists are known for taking a broader view of their patients, at least compared to other types of physical therapy. When their patient is dealing with chronic pain, occupational therapists understand that there are sensory, cognitive and emotional dimensions to that pain. Their goal is to not only help you physically function in your everyday life, but they also want to address how you manage and perceive your pain. Your attitude is as important as your strength and stamina when working with an occupational therapist to develop strategies and skills to manage your pain and lessen its impact on activities of daily life.
Range of Motion
What is range of motion, exactly? It’s an aspect of daily living that you may not fully appreciate until you’ve started to notice that it is limited or impaired. Range of motion is a measure of how well the muscles in your hips, knees and shoulders are able to move, allowing you to independently perform activities of daily life. These activities can be as simple as picking something up off the ground, getting dressed or going for a walk. Occupational therapy can be used to maintain or improve your range of motion through therapeutic exercises and activities, allowing you to perform daily activities at your greatest level of independence.
Learn more about our occupational therapy team
Now that you know more about occupational therapy, the next step is to get to know our occupational therapy team here at Querencia. They are a team of passionate professionals who understand how important independence is to the residents of an independent living community. Your level of independence is often linked to your quality of life. So if you are living with a condition or illness that is impeding your ability to function on your own, our occupational therapists can work with you to develop a plan for living a more fulfilling everyday life.
If you’d like to get more information on Querencia Health Services or about our community, fill out the form below or call us at 1-866-607-5995.