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Seniors working out on exercise balls

Occupational therapy is something that seniors should start as soon as possible. When seniors start occupational therapy early it can help them hang onto their ability to do things like grip things, open cabinets, climb steps, and move more freely. That’s because occupational therapy is a series of exercises that are designed to help seniors maintain the physical skills they need to stay independent and mobile as they get older. But, just like any form of therapy, it can feel like work sometimes. But there are lots of ways that occupational therapy can be fun for seniors like:

Group Occupational Therapy

Having group occupational therapy will allow seniors to spend time with other seniors and make the therapy session more fun. Seniors can work together doing therapy exercises and make games and jokes during the therapy so that everyone has a good time. Having group occupational therapy will encourage seniors to try harder and put more effort into the therapy so that they will be able to get more out of the therapy in the long run. There are lots of senior centers and fitness centers that offer group occupational therapy for seniors. 

Make It A Game

Occupational therapy movements are very basic so they can be incorporated into a lot of fun games. Board games can be occupational therapy for seniors. So can games like ring toss or games where bean filled bags are tossed into holes cut into a board. Some occupational therapists make up their own games for seniors that are designed to make seniors practice practical movements that they will need to stay independent as they get older. 

Try Crafts

Crafts can also be part of occupational therapy. Stringing beads on a piece of leather cord or on jewelry wire or yarn helps seniors fine tune their ability to pick up small objects and manipulate them. Painting helps seniors with fine motor control, spatial relationships, and cognitive skills. Knitting or needlework are both great therapies for seniors because they help seniors maintain good coordination and keep the muscles in the hands and forearms flexible. If your senior parent has always wanted to try a particular craft ask their occupational therapist to include that craft in their therapy so that you senior parent can try it and practice the movements they should be practicing. 

Incorporate Movement

Another way to make occupational therapy fun as well as effective is to incorporate movement. Seniors can do most of the traditional movements used in occupational therapy while they are moving, which can work other muscle groups and help maintain other skills. Some popular games that involve movement but can also be used as therapy are tossing a beach ball from one senior to another, dancing, musical chairs, rolling a ball down a lane or alley like bowling, and performing other movements that hep seniors work on their coordination and core muscle strength. The most effective occupational therapy makes movement fun for seniors.

If you or someone you know needs occupational therapy in Hutchinson, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.