In ageing Singapore, there is a growing need to address prominent health issues related to ageing. In this article, we provide an overview of occupational therapy and may help your ageing parent cope with age-related health issues.
What is occupational therapy?
According to The Royal College of Therapists, “Occupational therapy provides practical support to empower people to facilitate recovery and overcome barriers preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them. This support increases people’s independence and satisfaction on all aspects of life.”
Occupational therapy’s proven track record dates back to the 1800s
During the industrial revolution in the 1800s, there was an increase in sickness and disabilities. Occupational therapists, then known as reconstruction aids, would use a range of activities including arts and crafts as a form of therapy to rehabilitate these people back into the workforce, enabling them to support themselves and their families.
Later during WW1 and WW2, these reconstruction aids played a big role in providing activities to help injured soldiers recuperate and retrain themselves to become more independent in managing their basic care activities, such as dressing, showering and toileting, followed by work rehabilitation.
Our parents can age independently with the help of occupational therapy
As our parents age, they may develop health conditions that limit their independence and mobility, such as diabetes, dementia, frailty and arthritis. However, we should not allow them to become physically inactive due to their health condition. In fact, staying active and independent helps to keep them healthy and prevents worsening of their condition. An occupational therapist can help our parents to recuperate, retrain, and rehabilitate to be independent through various methods, including home modifications, assistive devices, and exercises to re-train their motor and sensory skills. By staying physically active, it slows down the worsening of their condition, and allows them to age healthily and independently.
Want to learn more about how occupational therapy can help your ageing parent cope with their health condition?
Read this article to learn more!