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If you’re a baby boomer, is it your desire to age gracefully and independently in your own home?
If your answer is yes, many of the more than 10 thousand baby boomers (1946-1964) turning 65 every day are hands-up in agreement.
A study published in the National Institutes of Health finds that seniors want to age with dignity, in control of their lives, enjoying the things they love, not feeling they are “burdening” their loved ones–– and most of all, they want to live independently, in their own homes.
That’s our mission too, at AgeRight Care At Home!
We’re experts at assisting you with daily activities at home like meal prep, medication management and housekeeping or helping you regain your strength and mobility after a serious illness or surgery.
So on this, April’s Occupational Therapy Month, we’re not only giving a shout-out to our fabulous miracle workers, our AgeRight therapists, we’re sharing 3 tips on how they can help you stay strong, independent and at home.
First, just what is occupational therapy (OT)? Let’s ask Christy Gray, OTR/L, MHSc, director of clinical services for AgeRight Care At Home.
Over her 20 year career as an occupational therapist, Christy has changed many lives, of all ages–– teaching babies how to bring a spoon to their mouths, training young children to tie their shoes, coaching young adults to thrive despite mental illness and helping AgeRight clients remain independent, at home.
Giving You Back Your Best, Independent Life
“Think about sudden or ongoing life changes that can hamper your ability to safely care for yourself, from brushing your teeth to preparing meals to managing medications or enjoying meaningful pastimes like gardening or hiking,” says Christy. “An illness, stroke, accident, fall, chronic disease, a move to a new setting or just the general aging process can keep us from doing the things we love most.”
That’s when occupational therapists can get you back on track.
“At AgeRight Care At Home we go to you, in your own home. We take a holistic approach and treat the whole person, assessing challenges and abilities, studying your living environment then working with you on the skills needed to remain safely at home. Those recovery skills can also reduce health care costs incurred from additional inpatient care or hospitalizations.”
So, if life throws you a curve and you need to regain or maintain some of the skills that keep you free and living your best life, here are three tips to consider:
Tip #1 Be Transparent Regarding What Matters Most To You
“Those of us in the occupational therapy profession, pride ourselves on being client centered. From our baseline analysis to our treatments and discharge planning, every aspect of OT care is rooted in driving what matters most to you, our client. So, before we embark on your wellness journey, we encourage you to take plenty of time for reflection on what you want and what you envision for your future. It’s vital we have honest communications regarding your daily activities and hobbies. Then we can create your unique program that leads to success. Your OT will be mindful and considerate of any evolving realities.”
Tip #2 Stay Open to the Possibilities
“Your occupational therapy practitioner is an innovator and problem solver! From trying an adaptive tool so you can dress independently, to establishing a strength-based program for better balance, occupational therapists can offer unique solutions to issues you may be facing. Stay open to the possibilities!”
Tip #3 Commit to the Program
“You are the key to your success! It’s important you follow the program and all recommendations outlined in your OT sessions. Current research shows that OT can significantly reduce re-hospitalizations. By establishing client centered routines and identifying solutions for both fall reduction and medication management, following your OT program will keep you safe and healthy!”
For more information on occupational therapy, download our FAQ on OT. If you or a loved one have specific questions about how we use OT to help our AgeRight Care at Home clients, please contact our team