April was Occupational Therapy Month, and this year, we’d like to do something special. We currently have four great occupational therapists on our staff that work tirelessly to provide exceptional care to many patients. Since we missed recognizing them during April, we’d like to put the spotlight on each of them now to give them the recognition and praise they deserve.
Alexa joined GHHS June 2015. She enjoys walking her dog, canoeing, reading and spending time with family and friends.
GHHS is happy to have Christie providing occupational therapy services since July 2015
Tisha has been an occupational therapist for 19 years. Her professional journey began by earning an associate degree (COTA) in Denver Colorado. She then continued her education earning a B.S. in Psychology at Chatham University and later a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Occupational Therapy.
Lynette enjoys any outdoor activity and has lived in Florida so she obviously enjoys the beach! Occupational therapy experience includes pediatric care, skilled nursing facility rehabilitation, and home health. Lynette is very athletic and will challenge anyone to a crossfit workout!!
In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, we thought it would be a good time to recall all of the great benefits you receive when you undergo occupational therapy. In case you weren’t aware, OT is one of the fine home health services we offer! We employ the most experienced occupational therapists in the Pittsburgh area so that they can provide the best possible care for you.
Occupational therapy assists people in learning to do the things they want and need to do during their daily lives. In many of our patients, occupational therapy is required after injury or illness to help them get back to their old selves. In seniors specifically, it has been proven to improve health and slow aging-related declines better than basic social activities. Without further ado, here are the top 10 benefits of occupational therapy in seniors!
1. Fall Prevention
Falls are a big problem for the elderly community. Luckily, OT helps you to become aware of all the fall risks that surround you. It teaches you to avoid scenarios which have a higher risk of falling while still staying active. Occupational therapists can also teach balancing and muscle building exercises.
2. Mental Restoration
Age-related mental decline often seems unavoidable and terribly tragic. However, studies have shown that brain training exercises do play a role in preventing or delaying the effects of these conditions. Luckily, occupational therapists are experts at targeting mental health and coming up with the perfect brain teasers to restore your brain power.
3. Aging in Place
Many seniors are unable to continue living on their own as they grow older and less independent. Occupational therapy teaches seniors how to “age in place” by developing partnerships with older adults, family caregivers, and community members.
4. A Safer Home
The home can be a verifiable death zone without the help of an occupational therapist. OTs can help you install safety devices throughout your home, such as handrails, grab bars, and walk-in bathtubs. These modification recommendations can promote independent living and prevent harmful accidents.
5. Improved Health
This seems like a given, but some people don’t believe it! OTs are concerned with increasing the quality of your life and helping you feel more satisfied. OTs teach seniors about how to redesign their daily lives to promote longevity, overcome fears, and leading a healthier lifestyle.
6. Education and Knowledge
Many seniors lack the training and education that could help them stay independent. An OT will provide this knowledge to you so that you can utilize these tips and strategies in your daily life. They can help seniors with vision or hearing impairments and mobility limitations to prevent falls and conserve energy.
7. Caregiver Relief
Caring for a senior in need is hard work, but luckily OT can help alleviate some of that pressure! OTs work with your loved ones to help them make better decisions about your daily care needs. Just as they teach seniors how to live independently, they also teach caregivers how to separate themselves from their caregiving so they can maintain their own lives.
8. Recommendations for Dementia Patients
Unfortunately, occupational therapy can’t always stop the progression of dementia. When the patient can no longer effectively communicate, OTs can at least provide recommendations to make their life more pleasing. They can offer suggestions for foods with pleasing texture, soothing music, or stretching programs to eliminate pain.
9. Rehabilitation Assistance
After surgery, many seniors are completely disabled until they begin to recover. Consulting with an occupational therapist can help facilitate their recovery process and get them back to living like their normal self. OTs can offer suggestions on how to perform daily activities while limited with movement.
10. Conquering Everyday Life
Sometimes it feels like each new day is the hardest of your life. It doesn’t have to be that way! Occupational therapy teaches seniors how to dress, feed, drive, socialize, manage their home, volunteer, or even work all while compensating for their hardships. They consider common senior problems such as chronic pain or arthritis and develop strategies that can help you tackle these without sacrificing your happiness. Growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love to do!
If you’re interested in learning more about occupational therapy, check out our occupational therapy page. To see if we can provide you occupational therapy services, contact us or your doctor today!