The majority of elderly people who decide to move to an assisted living facility do so because they have started to experience a decline in their physical or mental abilities and can no longer live an independent life at home. They are also interested in the opportunities for social interaction and tailored activities provided by assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities also provide a variety of therapies to help residents sustain functionality for as long as possible. We look at the benefits of therapy in assisted living and some of the therapies they offer.
The Benefits of Therapy
Therapy takes place at the assisted living facility. This encourages residents to join in and participate as they do not need transport to attend. The therapist has direct access to the nursing staff and can provide feedback and advice to the residents in therapy.
Some therapeutic work is designed to benefit the elderly population in general, for example, special exercise programs. The big benefit, however, is that a resident can receive therapy that is specially designed for them as an individual and deals with the issues they are experiencing daily. Therapy may take place in a resident’s suite or a common area designated by the facility.
Therapy is needed by many residents after they have undergone surgery or been hospitalized for a stroke, etc. The physician overseeing the hospital stay will prescribe the types of therapy needed. This avoids delays in starting therapy. One downside is that Medicare only pays for therapy at assisted living and/or skilled nursing facilities that it is affiliated with. These therapies have a goal, such as regaining speech after a stroke, and are therefore of a short-term nature.
Senior citizens are prone to falling, but therapy can lessen this risk. Therapy increases endurance. This provides the senior with the oomph to tackle the tasks of daily living and retain their independence for longer. It leads to greater confidence, higher self-esteem, and a sense of well-being. These types of therapy can continue indefinitely. A doctor’s recommendation is not needed.
Now we take a look at three of the most common types of therapy provided by assisted living facilities such as assisted living Clayton. These are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Speech and Language Therapy
Dementia or stroke are two conditions where a need for speech and language therapy may apply. This therapy assists patients with cognitive degeneration, short-term memory, speech impediments, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
Occupational therapists help patients regain independence in attending to their bodily functions, from going to the toilet to brushing their teeth to showering. They often recommend equipment to make life easier for a resident, such as walking frames, stair hoists, and handrails in the shower. Occupational therapists also assist patients in regaining fine motor control, such as how to write again or peel a banana.
The target of physical therapy is to restore the use of large muscles. It can help build upper body strength to enable the person to lift themselves in and out of a wheelchair. Patients can be assisted to walk again, regain their balance, build muscle tone, and acquire stamina.
While therapy often restores mobility and increases independence, it can help patients adjust to a lifestyle with greater dependence on caregivers.