This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Age Appropriate Occupations” and will be hosted by Kirstie Hughes (@Kirstie_OT).
Over the years when I have told people I enjoy building Lego I am met with responses such as “but its for Kids” or “Really, why?” and my answer is always why not?!
At this years Royal College of Occupational Therapist Annual Conference I presented an occupation station to share my love of Lego. I was hugely overwhelmed by demand for my session and the positive feedback with one attendee commenting on how he felt calm and relaxed engaging in occupational flow amongst the busy few days of conference
The queries have often left me thinking about age appropriate occupations in Occupational Therapy and the wider Health and Social Care context. Activities such as Easter bonnet making in residential homes, nursery rhymes in Learning Disabilities and Coloring in mental health services were often looked upon as “not appropriate”. As research in these areas have progressed we have an evidence base for their benefits to health and well being and they are now seen as mainstream activities, but why were they ever seen as inappropriate in the first place?
This chat aims to encourage discussion around age appropriate occupations, what impacts on them and why we stop engaging within adulthood.
Some questions to consider;
1: Do you engage with or participate in any occupations that may not be deemed as “age appropriate”? In addition to Lego building I also play PokemonGo.
2: What was your favourite occupation as a child? What did you gain from it? Do you still participate in it now? If not why not?
3: As OTs we know the importance of meaning in occupation, so does age really matter to us?
4: Is the need to provide a group activity impacting on the options available to us? Does catering for the many reduce meaningful options?
5: Are there any types of occupation based activities you would like to try within your service but have concerns around justifying them? Maybe you have tried some and was successful in your clinical reasoning?
6: Are the any new occupations you would like to try as an adult? Why barriers are there to your participation?
Host and On OTalk Account; @kirstieot
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