Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Occupational Therapy with Clients with Dementia

This week's Practice magazine from the American Occupational Therapy Association has a good article titled Occupational therapy for Clients with Dementia. Monica Heltemes describes the role of OT's in assisted living facilities- since AL is such a fast growing long- term care option for seniors. Residents with dementia and psychiatric disorders are common in ALFs. My mom moved into an ALF with a memory impairmment side when she was in the early stges of Alzheimer's disease. According to the author, the role of OT's is to:
  • Perform an evaluation including the Allen cognitive Assessment
  • Identify the best ability to function
  • Create a plan to maximize and maintain function and safety
  • Analyze the triggers of behavior issues and implement strategies to minimize them.
  • Provide caregiver education
  • Provide recommendations regarding the client's driving status
OT services for persons with dementia are covered by Medicare and this may include determining the need for and training to use assistive devices. Heltemes recommends use of the Cognitive Performance Test (CPT).
The article goes on to describe treatment interventions and gives case studies. I was lucky that the staff of the ALF where my mom lived was fantastic at addressing all of these needs. However, it was when she moved int a nursing home - when OT input would have been extremely valuable in addressing her emotional, sensory and behavioral needs during the late stages of the disease. The only therapeutic input I observed was when I complained about her positioning in a recliner where her feet and arms were often hanging off the sides and to evaluate dining and food texture needs.


  1. occupational therapy is very important for our life to live healthy and fit and health fitness is necessary to live long.


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  2. Interesting post about Occupational Therapy with Clients with Dementia, in these days illness of any kind is very common and people have to try to be careful with their health, for example I unfortunately use viagra online only because I need it and well Im close to be a senior citizen.