April is National Occupational Therapy Month and though you may not think much about this type of therapy, it could be incredibly important for somebody who has lost certain mobility or fine motor skills following a stroke, accident, surgery, or other maladies.
Too often, an aging parent or other family member might not listen to their child when it comes to their welfare. It’s a difficult shift in the relationship and for a senior who is bent on doing things their own way, who is stubborn, rooted in routine, being encouraged to work with an occupational therapist might not go over as well as if it came from an experienced professional.
Senior care can help in some of these situations.
While there is certainly a limit to what senior care providers can do, one thing may definitely it be able to provide is emotional encouragement and support. Yes, family can do that, too, but as mentioned, sometimes the dynamics of the relationship make it very difficult for an aging senior to even want to listen to an adult child or talk about what they should or shouldn’t do.
Just the air of professionalism, that buffer, can be more than enough to help an elderly person see beyond the frustration, the ego, the fear, or the doubt and continue working with somebody who has experience in this field.
It’s not always easy to see progress in small increments.
When it comes to occupational therapy, as with many different types of therapy and counseling, progress could be very slow. It might be weeks or even months when the senior is feeling as though nothing is improving.
They just want to give up.
That’s where keeping a journal, a record of their progress, exercise, routines, and so forth can be incredibly beneficial. Being able to stop and look over the past few weeks or months, remembering where they work, recognizing how far they’ve come, can be a great motivator to push them through to the finish line.
What else can experienced senior care offer?
The kind of support this senior might turn to family for, but also may be embarrassed about. Toileting, bathing, and other intimate matters may be difficult for a senior to ask their adult child, friend, or neighbor to help with.
An experienced senior care provider can step in and support this individual with those difficult tasks and may be able to help encourage this person so they press through with occupational therapy.