Do Occupational Therapists Always Work With The Elderly?


There is a significant demand on the healthcare services of occupational therapists. Statistics show that the profession would grow faster than the average and job opportunities are more secured. This is highly because people are getting old and sick. People who work in the medical field would be the last one to be affected by current and future economic crisis. The good news is that occupational therapists are slowly getting supervisory roles. Therefore, they are having an increase in both salary and function.

Occupational therapists are primarily focused on delivering services that assist individuals to perform activities of daily living. They work with people who have disabilities on their physical, emotional and developmental faculties. Occupational therapists help individual to cope up with permanent loss of function and to improve basic motor functions and mental capabilities. The ultimate goal of this type of therapy is to improve overall quality of life by achieving optimum level of functioning.

While it is true that the primary age group occupational therapists work with is the elderly, they are also flexible enough to work with younger age groups. When working with the elderly, occupational therapists assist them to be more productive, independent and active individuals. Occupational therapists most probably will work with the elderly in different settings such as nursing homes, geriatric centers, rehabilitative centers and other medical institutions. A therapist would typically start with assessment and identify factors that might affect the overall performance of an elderly.

The main method an occupational therapist when taking care of the elderly is health education that would promote health and wellness. This would be combined with performing therapeutic procedures such as massage, exercise, training and teaching essential skills. More specifically, an occupational therapist would teach an elderly with degenerative diseases such as arthritis to prevent further injury and conserve energy. They could also help an individual to perform exercises to increase range of motion and flexibility. The occupational therapist would teach patients to use adaptive equipments to better cope with disabilities. When it comes with a person who has an amputation, they would train them to use prosthesis. Furthermore, people who have poor vision and memory impairment could benefit from the healthcare service provided by an occupational therapist.

If you want to be an occupational therapist, you should have the proper mindset and attitude to be effective and competitive. Occupational therapists work not only with the elderly but also with various age groups.


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