Benefits of Occupational Therapy

Senior Asian couple grandparents using a smart phone together on sofa at home

Occupational therapy for dementia can help people with cognitive, and motor deficits enjoy their lives more fully. The focus is on improving functional abilities and engaging in meaningful activities during the early stages. In the middle stages, the focus is on safety and staying engaged in daily activities. Basic ADLs (activities of daily living) may be difficult for a person with this condition to perform alone. Occupational therapists can help with these needs.

Each stage of dementia disease has characteristics that are unique to it. Understanding the various stages of dementia can make treatment planning easier, and setting goals can be more successful. Occupational therapists can help patients improve their functional abilities and cope with their daily routines by understanding the specifics of the disease stage and progress. 

The goal of occupational therapy for dementia is to improve the quality of life for the person with the condition, including the patient’s physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning. The therapist should consider the individual’s performance and behavior and their caregivers’ concerns. Accompanying conditions like cardiovascular problems and gait and balance problems can also impact daily activities. 

During the early stages of dementia, the focus may be on compensating for the loss of cognitive abilities and remediating deficit areas. As the disease progresses, however, the goal of the treatment may be to increase or keep the number of daily activities to delay the disease progression.