Are you facing challenges with everyday life as a result of ageing, disability or health issues? Maybe your challenges are due to declining mobility, pain or fatigue, failing eyesight, worsening health, a new diagnosis of dementia or ongoing stress, anxiety or mood concerns. Maybe you are caring for someone else with these issues. Do you know that despite these challenges, it is still possible to age positively and live well?
At THRIVE our focus is on enabling people age positively and thrive in their senior years.
Here are 10 ways we at Thrive, use our skills and experience as Occupational Therapists to help you THRIVE…
1. Future Proof the Home
Whether you are wanting to remain in the family home, move to smaller unit, build a home for your older years or renovate, there are all sorts of suggestions we can make to ensure your home meets your needs in the long term. Thrive occupational therapists can advise on using a mobility aid or wheelchair in the home or how you might set the home up if your vision is failing or consider how you might be able to get around the community when you no longer drive.
2. Ensure Safety at Home
Safety is often a concern when a person experiences reduced functioning because physical, vision or cognitive changes. We can assess your ability to manage your everyday activities at home in the face of these concerns. There are many solutions to assist you to remain as safe as possible. These might include:
- arranging the installation of handrails, non-slip mats and seats in showers or baths to make getting in and out of the shower as safe and easy as possible.
- the use of extra lighting, contrasting colours, clear labelling and tips for organising things in the home if your eyesight is poor.
- solutions for making cooking safer, or ensuring security when a person’s memory is failing.
3. Maintain your Independence
Staying as independent as possible with your everyday activities in the face of age related changes can be a challenge. We are experts at finding practical solutions to enable people to manage these challenges. There is a huge range of disability equipment and gadgets on the market, and we can help you to determine what equipment is right for you and your needs and show you how to install and use it. We teach strategies to enable greater indpependence in tasks such as getting dressed or getting in and out of a chair or the car (to name just a few). We also teach practical ways you can manage pain, fatigue, vision or hearing loss in the face of everyday life.
4. Understand and manage memory difficulties
If you are noticing changes in your memory and thinking, we can advise on practical strategies for managing this. Just because you might have a diagnosis of dementia does not mean you have to give up on life. We can teach you many techniques for managing cognitive changes. We can help you to set things in place to enable you to stay engaged in your meaningful activities for as long as possible. If you are a family member with concerns for someone’s safety with cooking, driving or managing money and security, then we can do a functional assessment and make recommendations or referrals according to your loved one’s needs.
5. Adjust to transition or loss:
Older age can be a time of great transition. Whether it is due to losing a spouse, living with a health issue, moving home or losing one’s ability to drive, there can be many adjustments to make. Finding your way around these changes can sometimes be overwhelming. At Thrive, we can help with establishing a plan going forward, linking in with supports or services or helping you to identify your values, priorities, and interests in order to set goals and thrive.
6. Access the Community
Getting out and about in the community can also be a challenge especially if you no longer drive. Yet, it’s really important that you stay connected with the community and keep going to exercise groups, church, clubs, volunteering and visiting others etc. If confidence using buses is a challenge, then we can help you to overcome this barrier. If you’re wondering if a mobility scooter is right for you we can help you decide, assess your driving ability and teach you how to use it. If you are socially isolated, then we can help you find out about groups, services and activities that are in the local area and supports to help you get there.
7. Have fun and stay socially active
Getting older can be hard work. Often energy and resources are directed at staying healthy and keeping up with the day to day basics. And yet, it’s essential to still enjoy life, have fun and stay engaged in meaningful leisure and social activities. We can help you assess your lifestyle and ensure you have a balance of “work, rest and play”. We can help you identify and get involved in activities that benefit your mental health and quality of life as well.
8. Manage Anxiety and Depression
Often anxiety and depression can cause a person to become less interested or engaged in their eveyday activities. Loss of interest or confidence in cooking, selfcare, getting out and about or staying in touch with others can lead to worsening health and social isolation. There are many practical things we at Thrive can help with if you are depressed or anxious. These might include teaching strategies for improving mental wellbeing, finding easy ways around tasks, finding things to do that are going to improve outlook, and linking you in with supports or programmes. We are also really good at listening.
9. Connect with the wider health and social service system
We know what help is out there and how to link you in with it. Sometimes it’s hard to work out what type of help or support you need or even want.
There are many health services such as Falls Prevention or Senior Chef or Active Canterbury and programmes run by charities or NGO’s such as friendship groups or help with shopping. As occupational therapists we can help you determine what you would benefit from and can refer you or link you in. We can even help you design your own private support or assistance options.
Wellbeing is a bit of “buzz word” at the moment, but wellbeing is very much related to how we live our lives on a day to day basis. At Thrive, we understand the importance of staying engaged, active, interested and connected in everyday life. Whether it’s baking for grandchildren, volunteering with a local school, gardening, walking, going to an exercise class, being creative, or learning new things….Doing is good for you…physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. At Thrive, we can help you to build more wellbeing into your life in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Get in touch using the form below and let us help you THRIVE in your senior years.
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