The Benefits Of Occupational Therapy For People With Memory Loss
Among the many benefits of occupational therapy is its ability to help with memory loss. Memory loss a common occurrence as we get older and it happens to us all to some degree.
For some people memory loss shows when we simply forget where we put their keys or our glasses. This kind of memory loss is manageable and does not impact on an individual’s ability to live independently. But for those with memory loss resulting from cognitive impairments, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease carrying our out everyday tasks becomes difficult.
Occupational therapists use a number of different methods and techniques to improve memory. The goal is for patient to learn or relearn skills they have forgotten or are no longer able to do. In this way, patients will regain some of their independence and lead a better quality of life.
The activities of daily routine (ADL)
Therapists use the term ADL to describe the actions and activities that make up a person’s daily routine. This could be washing hands, cooking, or making a cup of tea.
When suffering from memory loss, patients may struggle with the daily tasks most of us take for granted. By providing these patients with a routine, they are better placed to carry out the activities of daily life. Improving patients’ ability to carry out ADLs is just one of the benefits of occupational therapy.
By assessing what individual patients can do, occupational therapists can focus on those tasks that they can’t. Often, therapists will provide new ways of approaching tasks like bathing, dressing, shopping, or cooking. The idea is to make daily tasks easier to achieve thereby giving patients more independence.
The key benefits of occupational therapy include keeping active
As we age exercise and activity plays a key role in maintaining and improving cognitive function and memory. By engaging patients in activities, they stay engaged, alert, and stimulated. People want to be able to do as much for themselves as much as possible. They do not want to be reliant on others.
One of the benefits of occupational therapy is restoring strength, range of motion, and movement. When patients are able to see a change in their physical abilities, they feel driven to keep improving.
Occupational therapy stimulates the mind
Another benefit of occupational therapy is that it keeps the mind active. This can be done in a fun and stimulating way, not just through boring, repetitive tasks. Memory games are just one of the techniques occupational therapists use to stimulate memory. These are an excellent and engaging way for patients to improve their ability to recall information and past memories.
When people retire, they often have a lot of time on their hands. Many take up doing crossword puzzles, jigsaws, or arts and crafts. As memory loss worsens, it can make these new hobbies difficult to continue doing. Occupational therapists encourage patients to still partake in these activities.
They are able to assess why difficulties are occurring and offer advice on how to continue enjoying them. Sensory stimulating activities are vital for brain health and cognitive ability.
At Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, NY, we understand the wide-ranging benefits of occupational therapy for patients with memory loss. Let us help you or a loved one live independently for as long as possible.