#OTalk 22nd September 2020 – Occupational Therapy and Older People

This week chat will be hosted by the Rotal College of Occupatinal Therapists Specialist Section, Older People @RCOT_OP

General deconditioning in older adults with frailty is a serious and all-too-common problem. According to the British Geriatrics Society, deconditioning includes reduced muscle strength, reduced mobility, increased falls, confusion and demotivation. Immobility can effect continence and constipation, appetite and digestion. As Occupational Therapists, the primary impact of deconditioning can be seen in reduced well-being and cognitive and physical function; in turn this impacts a person’s ability to engage in meaningful activities.

The recent #RightToRehab Twitter campaign brought to light prevalent attitudes of ageism and discrimination towards frail older people in the acute hospital setting and in the community. In the current climate of the Covid-19 pandemic, isolation and immobility has raised further discussion
around deconditioning and the right to rehab in older adults.

As a Specialist Section for Older People we’d love to continue this discussion with an Occupational perspective, and to share ideas and Top Tips for addressing this issue in hospitals and the communities where we work.

The questions for discussion in our #OTalk conversation:

1) What are people’s experiences of seeing the impact of deconditioning on levels of occupational performance in older adults?

2) How can Occupational Therapists support older adults to avoid deconditioning?

3) What intervention approaches are used, and what considerations taken into account, when assessing rehab potential in older people?

4) How is ageism a risk when considering rehab potential for deconditioned older adults?

5) In what ways do Occupational Therapy theory and practice challenge these attitudes?

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