For more information regarding the Coronavirus and visitor guidelines, click here.
Visitation is currently open, please call 518-869-2231 for for more information.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Mental Health

Nurse holding hands with elderly man

Occupational Therapy is a form of rehabilitation that focuses on helping individuals improve their quality of life through activities. The goal of OT is to help people work on the skills they need in order to participate in activities of daily living. For older seniors, Occupational Therapy can be beneficial for those who have experienced health challenges and are looking to regain strength. While OT focuses on physical ability and improvement, it also is a great tool for improving the mental health of aging seniors.

What Does Occupational Therapy Consist Of

At Shaker Place, our Occupational Therapy team works with residents in our newly renovated occupational therapy room and focuses on the five basic needs of Activities of Daily Living, personal hygiene, dressing, eating, maintaining continence, and transferring/mobility.

Therapy services focus on four main areas; the kitchen, the laundry room, the bathroom, and the car. The kitchen works on the preparation of food and snacks, ranging from simple tasks to more complicated tasks like using the stove. The laundry room focuses on washing and folding clothing. The bathroom helps residents work on personal hygiene care from showering, grooming, brushing teeth, and using the toilet. Lastly, they focus on practicing with residents on how to get in and out of the car with the use of our therapy car.

How Does Occupational Therapy Benefit Mental Health

Occupational Therapy can provide seniors with mental and cognitive stimulation while working on activities of daily living. For those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia, OT can help improve cognitive function and their ability to think and remember things. Games such as puzzles, card games, and others work on fine motor skills while also engaging their minds.

By working on strengthening themselves to be able to participate in activities of daily living, it can help to allow them to return to the activities they used to participate in. This not only allows them to be independent, but it gives them the opportunity to benefit from these activities as well. These activities could provide them with relaxation and may be ways to cope with the symptoms or conditions they are experiencing.

One of the main causes of mental health decline in aging seniors is a sedentary lifestyle with minimal socialization. This in itself is a cause of depression and anxiety, and can have a severe impact on an individual’s health. Occupational Therapy helps to build confidence in their ability to be independent and can promote socialization and community involvement.

Learn More About Our Skilled Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility!

Occupational Therapy is proven to help our residents regain their strength and improve their confidence and overall well-being. OT is more than working on the body, it helps to stimulate their mind and improve mental health. If you think your loved one could benefit from OT, visit our website to learn more about our services and rehabilitation center!