Research is shedding new light on people living with dementia, proving the importance of quality of life and how proper support can assist them to live better lives after diagnosis.
According to the research, staying active and engaged optimises physical and mental health of someone living with dementia and can slow cognitive changes.
PA Hospital Occupational Therapists, Jacki Liddle and Marika Mussawir, say the vital role of OT is helping people continue to do what is important to them as they manage the challenges of the life-altering disease of dementia.
“Occupational therapy focuses on what people do, from the tiny everyday things to the big things that make their life meaningful.
“When we work with people living with dementia, we find out what they need and want to do, what challenges they are facing, and we assess their regular environments to assist them in keeping their independence,” said Jacki.
Research also shows that OT interventions for people living with dementia can significantly improve the quality of life of their caregivers.
“We want to help people to continue doing the things that make the day fun, engage in their communities, stay safe at home and continue to be part of their social networks,” said Marika.
“We consider memory and thinking, physical movement, sensory needs, and many other aspects for this cohort of patients to help promote independence.”
The practice of occupational therapy and the skilled professionals that deliver it has played an important part in many specialty areas of the PAH since the 1960’s, providing support to patients when circumstances change for them.