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Occupational Therapy Intervention is a Family Affair
By Janie L. Rosman, Staff Writer
“Analyze a task by looking at what
memory a person needs to do the next step,” Glantz says.
“He or she may need to be reminded what to do with the
food since some people forget how to chew or use
utensils.” Caregivers can learn how to segment tasks
into smaller, manageable skills.
Appropriate cues are also helpful, like
the caregiver putting undergarments on the outside of
the hanger so the person will put those on first.
Sometimes help is needed with choosing clothes; if a
closet or drawer of garments is too overwhelming, the
caregiver can select a few items to make the choice
If the person living with Alzheimer’s
disease is distracted easily, then the environment
shouldn’t be cluttered by objects or noise (an example
would be two radios playing different music at the same
time). If you don’t want him or her to walk out the
door, hang the coat in a closet, not near the door.
Working with the caregiver involves
teaching him or her how to properly communicate. If the
person living with Alzheimer’s disease understands
visual cues more than verbal cues, incorporate these
into activities. When during the day is the person most
alert? If a pre-illness routine was working at night
while sleeping during the day, keeping to a similar
schedule may be more beneficial than reversing a