Occupational therapy is an area of medical care that aims to keep patients healthy, happy and independent through participation in everyday activities. This is especially important for the aged care sector, as an occupational therapist (OT), can help an RACF’s residents to overcome the challenges of ageing and remain as self-reliant as possible. While often compared to a physiotherapist, the role of an OT is actually very different. Where a physio will manage and rehabilitate a patient’s condition, it’s an occupational therapist who will help them to remain active, mobile and autonomous.
Occupational therapy can have substantial psychological and emotional benefits, as well as physical, due to a resident’s capacity to continue performing the functions that might otherwise deteriorate. The significance of this cannot be overstated, as the ability to remain an active participant in the day-to-day aspects of life can play a huge part in overall happiness.
Australian Health Professionals can provide a range of occupational therapy services, including:
- Assessing a resident’s ability to perform daily activities (e.g. showering, eating and toileting)
- The prescription of equipment and aids to assist with certain functions
- Assessment and management of pressure care and cognitive abilities
- Therapies for upper limbs, including splinting
- Strategic advice for energy conservation
In addition, Australian Health Professionals’ OTs can assist a resident with setting goals for rehabilitation after an admission to hospital. Whether this is for a stroke or a fall, it’s crucial to have a roadmap for returning to the best functionality possible. Reintegrating into daily life at a RACF can be tough after spending time in more intensive care, but by setting specific targets, a resident can achieve the same quality of life that they enjoyed before their admission.
The ability to remain an active participant in the day-to-day aspects of life can play a huge part in overall happiness.