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Occupational Therapy Intervention is a Family Affair

By Janie L. Rosman, Staff Writer
(Page 3 of 6)

OT utilizes and analyzes abilities and strengths, in addition to social and perceptual abilities, then analyzes the task at hand, and seeing if they match — “Can the person living with Alzheimer’s disease do what you’re asking him or her to do?”

A complete evaluation should include an occupational profile of the person’s routines, hobbies and level of abilities. The caregiver’s input is crucial for providing information that the person living with Alzheimer’s disease is unable to supply or unaware of his or her ability level. “(It helps the caregiver to) know what current abilities are, and if you know they can’t do something, don’t ask,” says Glantz, an AOTA board member.

Compensating for lost cognitive skills — comprehension and action, attention, memory, logic and reasoning, auditory, visual and speed processing — while recognizing remaining abilities are goals for someone in the early stages of AD, since new learning might be impaired or absent as the condition progresses.

“The goal is to retain skills that were lost, continue those skills the person has, use compensatory skills, and to find a way to make them acceptable to the person and the caregiver,” Glantz says. OT instruction can help caregivers recognize abilities, and thus know if a task is too difficult.


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