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Alyssa Bowey

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Mrs. DeBock
2nd Block
March 4th, 2015
The Impact of Occupational Therapy on the Elderly
How important is occupational therapy in the recovery of senior citizens living with
disorders or disabilities that make their everyday life more difficult? Do people underestimate the
power of occupational therapy on the lives of elderly people? Occupational therapy has a
substantial impact on the recovery of elderly people, who suffer from various disorders, diseases
and disabilities. Occupational therapy has helped elderly patients recover from acute myocardial
infarction, improve quality of life in elderly people with dementia, and generally improve
functional independence in patients.
For starters, occupational therapy is defined as a form of therapy for those recuperating
from physical or mental illness that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of
activities required in daily life. Many elderly people begin occupational therapy programs to
improve their everyday living or to recover from medical problems and mental illness brought
upon by old age. With old age, many problems come about such as Dementia. Dementia has no
definite treatment but a study was conducted to show that occupational therapy interventions can
be used in improving dementia in elderly people. The results proved that occupational therapy
improved the short term physical performance and psychological well- being of quality of life in
older adults with dementia. An improved physical performance is achieved by physical exercise
used in occupational therapy programs and it creates sense of independency, increased

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motivation, positive outlook and reduced behavioral and psychological symptoms (Prakash 3).
Occupational therapy helps with not only mental illness but is commonly associated with elderly
people suffering from physical disabilities such as acute myocardial infarction. A study showed
that the early introduction of an occupational program into the therapy of elderly patients in the
second phase of recovery after an acute coronary infarction improves their functional parameters.
It also assumes that the occupational therapy increases the patients functional independence
(Jianu and Macovei 23). The impact of occupational therapy in the recovery or improvement of
physical and mental medical conditions among elderly people is monumental and proves to only
be beneficial.
Secondly, as proven by multiple studies and shown in various results of occupational
therapy received by older adults, occupational therapy also improves the overall functional
independence and daily lives of elderly patients who receive therapy. Occupational therapists
improve their patients functional independence by adapting their patients home for safety,
maximizing the patients remaining skills in order to be as independent as possible. Also
occupational therapist educate caregivers and help them find social and emotional assistance
such as support groups and respite care (Smith). A study conducted by Peiris and colleagues to
show that elderly people that receive 6 out of 7 days of occupational therapy versus 5 out of 7
days of therapy during recovery will improve faster and more effectively. The increase of
rehabilitation led to improved functional independence and quality of life through motivating an
increase in habitual activity and creating an expectation that patients should be working toward
their rehabilitation goals every day (Parker, Lord, and Needham 2). Occupational therapy gives

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elderly people the inspiration and motivation to improve and enjoy their lives by increasing
physical activity through exercising.
Occupational therapy has helped elderly patients recover from acute myocardial
infarction, improve quality of live in elderly people with dementia, and generally improve
functional independence in patients. Occupational therapy has a substantial impact on the lives of
elderly adults and inspires improvement within physical and mental health of patients. Elderly
people rely on therapy to help them through the difficult parts of their lives. The idea of an
occupational therapist being the guiding hand elderly patients need to feel better physically and
emotionally is comforting to older adults because they know the therapy they will be provided
will help them in various ways. Occupational therapists live by the quote Nothing is more
important than helping people live full, independent and dignified lives within the comfort of
their own homes. The impact of occupational therapy is powerful and proves to be beneficial in
multiple ways.

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Works Cited
Jianu, Anca, and Sabina Macovei. "The Occupational Therapy Impact on the Recovery of
Convalescent Elderly People after an Acute Myocardial Infarction." Palestrica of the
Third Millennium Civilization & Sport 13.1 (2012): 23-26. Academic Search Complete.
Parker, Ann M., Robert K. Lord, and Dale M. Needham. "Increasing the Dose of Acute
Rehabilitation: Is There a Benefit?" BMC Medicine 11.1 (2013): 1-3. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
Prakash, Kumar, et al. "Novel Occupational Therapy Interventions May Improve Quality Of Life
in Older Adults with Dementia." International Archives Of Medicine 7.1 (2014): 1-16.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
Smith, Barbara. "Occupational Therapy for the Elderly." Occupational Therapy for the Elderly.
Web. 03 Mar. 2015.