We chose assisted living for Dad so he could get the help he needed. Why would he also need therapy?
It’s a perfectly legitimate question, but the thing about assisted living is this: the more assistance your Dad needs with daily tasks, the higher the monthly cost will likely be. An occupational therapist may cost more for a few months (though you should check out whether your loved one’s insurance may cover some of the cost), but the investment is worthwhile if it means that 1. you sustain lesser monthly care costs, and 2. your loved one feels a greater sense of independence even in assisted living.
The following are a few of the services an OT can provide in this care setting (and at home too):
Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). An OT can work alongside residents who are having difficulty with certain everyday tasks, from dressing to transferring in and out of bed to bathing/grooming — all with the ultimate goal of facilitating independence and empowering them to meet these needs without help from others.
Addressing behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer’s or dementia. When it comes to participation in the community’s scheduled activities, an OT can “recommend changes to support better performance,” per a fact sheet from AOTA.org. Case in point: altering the lighting or reducing the number of people in an area during a particular activity may help the individual feel more comfortable and thus more likely to participate.
Learn more about what OTs do in assisted living via this fact sheet from The American Occupational Therapy Association.