Researchers: Occupational Therapy Improves Quality of Life for Older Adults
Findings from several studies published in the special May/June issue
of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy
BETHESDA, MD — Occupational therapy helps older adults to restore and maintain participation in the activities, or everyday occupations, that they enjoy. Practitioners across the United States are focused on older adults now more than ever as more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.
Productive aging is the focus of the May/June 2012 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
“Occupational therapy practitioners have an essential role in the health and wellness of community-dwelling older adults,” says journal guest editor Sharon J. Elliott, DHS, GCG, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, the adult therapy services coordinator for Therapeutic Life Center in Greenville, NC. “The systematic reviews encompassed within this special issue help support the effectiveness of occupational therapy services for this growing population.”
This special issue includes the following evidence-based findings:
- The development of health routines is imperative for all older adults.
- Programs with face-to-face encounters are stronger than programs without this component, and programs that are tailored to the preferences of the individual are more effective.
- Work, volunteering, physical activity, leisure, and social and religious activities have a positive impact on health and quality of life for older adults.
- Occupational therapy contributes to reducing future burdens on the health care system by improving the health of older adults through promotion of occupational engagement.
- Occupational therapy wellness and prevention programs for older adults living in the community are effective at improving health.
“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 Natalie E. Leland, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry & Davis School of Gerontology, 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.”
For more information about these studies or to interview an author or occupational therapist who specializes in productive aging, contact AOTA Media Relations Manager Katie Riley at 301-652-6611, ext. 2963, or e-mail email@example.com.
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy is the official journal of the American Occupational Therapy Association, which represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. It is a peer-reviewed publication focusing on research examining the effectiveness and efﬁciency of occupational therapy practice so that occupational therapy and other health care professionals can make informed, evidence-based decisions in their practice. AJOT publishes 6 times each year in print and online and has an additional online supplement at the end of each calendar year. Articles cover topics such as children and youth; mental health; rehabilitation, disability, and participation; productive aging; health and wellness; work and industry; education; and professional issues. Recent special issues include sensory processing and sensory integration, older drivers and community mobility, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. For more information, visit http://ajot.aotapress.net/ or www.aota.org.