April is Occupational Therapy month. MindStart founder and owner, Monica Heltemes, is an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists help people 'live life to the fullest™' , no matter their limitations or challenges. For individuals living with dementia and their families, the occupational therapy approach is multi-prong. It may include:
- Assessing the person's limitations and identifying strengths.
- Putting into place modifications that allow the person to be the most successful. This could include:
- Identifying strategies that can aide the person's memory, such as notes or alarms.
- Simplifying tasks, so they are easier to complete and allow the person to be more independent.
- Making changes in the environment to best support the person.
- Finding communication approaches that work best for the person.
- Identifying potential triggers for unwanted reactions, or behaviors
- Offer resources and products to help keep the person active and doing things
- Educating families and caregivers on all these areas to help the person to function at their best potential and with the best quality of life.
The graphic above includes all that occupational therapists are - including creative, practical, and teachers - all to help people build lives that are lived to the fullest, including those living with dementia. Learn more about occupational therapy at http://www.aota.org.