Studies Show Older Adults Benefit From Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is not just for the younger generation. Recent studies published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy show that older adults can benefit too.

“Within an environment that may not support their changing abilities, older adults aspire to age in place in the community while combating the management of multiple chronic conditions and the obstacles associated with the normal aging process,” says Dr. Natalie Leland, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California in the division of occupational science and occupational therapy and journal co-editor. “As highlighted by this special issue, occupational therapy practitioners have a pivotal role in facilitating aging in place, continued participation in desired activities and maximizing quality of life.”

In fact, evidence-based findings reveal the following about occupational therapy:

  • Health routines are important for all older adults.
  • Occupational therapy programs that incorporate face-to-face encounters and are customized to the individual are stronger and more effective.
  • Work, volunteering, physical activity, leisure, and social and religious activities all positively affect health and quality of life for older adults.
  • Occupational therapy improves health of older adults and, thereby, reduces the impact on the healthcare system.