Therapists can help enable people with dementia to retain their ability to function and engage in activities of daily living for as long as possible, as well as working with the person’s family and caregivers for an all-rounded strategy of care.
The Singapore Elderly WISE study, led by the Institute of Mental Health in 2015 indicates that 1 in 10 people over the age of 60 may have dementia. With increasing numbers being diagnosed, there is greater need for effective care and support for these individuals.
Research has demonstrated that occupational therapy can reduce the need for informal care. In addition, occupational therapy can save money by improving quality of life and health of the person with dementia and their caregivers, while decreasing the need for hospital admission. (AOTA 2015)
A comprehensive approach to address the needs of the person and their family is essential, therefore we offer a tailored dementia package to address functioning, quality of life and safety.
Research has shown that continuous therapy programs are highly beneficial for people with chronic conditions. This includes improving activities of daily living and social functioning for people with conditions such as COPD and Rheumatoid Arthritis. OT has also been found to benefit quality of life and health of people with chronic heart failure (Law & McColl 2011).
Our occupational therapists can work with a range of conditions considering the unique impact on a person’s life, enabling you to manage barriers and problem solve ways to engage in the self care, work and leisure activities that you need and want to do.
We’ve designed programs of different intensities and purposes to help people experiencing chronic conditions cope with a health condition that poses new challenges physically, functionally, socially and psychologically.
We can also work with people in their acute stages and that can help prevent them from further complications when we work with them in the early stages of their condition.
Law, M. & McColl, M. A. (2011). Occupational therapy interventions for chronic diseases: A scoping review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(4):428-436.
Evidence: (Abraham et all 2018) “Burden, depression, decreased health and social support in caregivers can increase the likelihood that the care recipients will be moved to formal assisted living accommodation (Gaugler, Kane, Kane & Newcomer, 2005).”
(RCOT 2017) “Finding ways to enable older people to continue to participate in daily life through problem solving, learning or relearning skills and making adaptations not only improves peoples’ lives but also makes more effective use of public money. When people’s needs are not met they come to rely on other services.”
(Law & McColl 2011) Concludes that occupational therapy can improve outcomes for people with chronic diseases. Evidence of the benefit of community occupational therapy in improving activities of daily living and social functioning for people with COPD, Rheumatoid arthritis, improved participation in work for people with depression, improved health status and quality of life for people with chronic heart failure and COPD.
Occupational Therapy is an intervention to support people with learning disability (PwLD) in the area of self-care, play skills, social skills, schoolwork and sensory processing difficulty. We also work with their families who experience challenges or difficulties in home or school settings with strategies and recommendations to better support their children.
Developmental Delay. Developmental delay means that a child takes longer to reach certain development milestones than other people of their age. This may include not reaching developmental milestones in walking, movement skills, learning new things and interacting with others socially and emotionally.
Fine Motor Skills. Fine motor skills are the coordination of using the eyes and the small muscles in our hand and wrists to make movements.
Gross Motor Skills (Movement, Strength & Balance Development). The ability to coordinate and to control the larger muscles of the body for walking, running, jumping and balance. A child who is often seen as clumsy or uncoordinated in their movement may encounter challenges in sport, play activities and daily activities. For example, walking up and down a staircase, avoiding gross motor activities. For people with developmental delay or learning impairment, they may experience high or low muscle tone, muscle tension and resistance. This may further impact on their abilities to cross midline during play or school tasks, or even poor balancing when jumping or skipping.
Sensory Processing Difficulty. Issues with organizing and responding to information that comes through the senses e.g. smell, touch, vision. These children may be overactive, underactive or both to sensory inputs. Sensory processing issues are not a learning disability, but it can have an impact on their learning and everyday life.
Play and Social Skills. Play skills are important for children with learning disabilities to make sense of their environment. Play skills help children to figure out how to interact with one another, figure out how to problem solve and make decisions. In addition, play helps to build up children self-confidence and develop social skills with other children.
Every person is different and each develops these skill sets at a different pace.
However, if you feel that your child is struggling with some of the skills mentioned above, you may want to contact us about our therapy programs and see how we can help.
Around 1 in 3 Singaporeans over 50 suffer from falls every year. In 2006 injurious falls cost $6.8 billion in hospital admissions, this is not including the indirect costs such as out-patient appointments and families taking time off work. Falls have serious consequences such as hip fracture and can even be fatal.
Research has shown that occupational therapy interventions can reduce risk of falls and improve quality of life (Kim et al 2017), and that occupational therapy can significantly reduce mortality rate in seniors (AOTA 2015). The Singapore Health Promotion Board has identified that home modification interventions are more effective in reducing the rate of falls when they are delivered by occupational therapists when compared to other trained assessors’ or nurses.
Falls are a big issue for the older population, but though risk of falling as we age increases, falling is not inevitable. As occupational therapists we know that there are steps that can be taken to lower risks of falls as we enter old age.
Our knowledgeable and experienced therapists offer a comprehensive occupational therapy falls package tailored to you and your needs.
The effects of occupation-centered activity program on fall-related factors and quality of life in patients with dementia, Journal of Physical Therapy Science, Kim, Kim and Oh (2017). PDF Here: Korean study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509588/
Occupational therapy: Cost effective solutions for a changing health system (AOTA 2015)
Falls prevention among older adults living in the community, HPB-MOH Clinical practice guidelines, May 2015
Linked to occupational therapy by allied health practice, physiotherapists focus on physical aspect of therapy within our multidisciplinary team.
There are several overlapping areas but at Lifeweavers, we let specialisation take centre stage. OTs work alongside PTs to provide more extensive interventions as a multi-disciplinary team. Our physiotherapists can work by themselves too, under the gold standard Lifeweavers promises.
Several areas our cross-discipline teams specialises in:
A primary focus of occupational therapy is to ensure the environment people live, work and socialise in fits their needs and maintains safety. A health condition can create environmental barriers to living a full and happy life. Occupational therapists are experts in identifying environmental risks and offer better advice and solutions before you plan for home modifications.
The Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend occupational therapists as the key profession to address home modifications. The HPB (2015) have identified that home modification interventions delivered by an occupational therapist are more effective in reducing falls rate when compared to other trained assessors.
“Finding ways to enable older people to continue to participate in daily life through problem solving, learning or relearning skills and making adaptations…improves people’s lives. (RCOT 2017)
We see it as essential to consider home assessment and modification for our seniors or people contacting a new condition. Our team offers a tailored and comprehensive package to address needs and work to improve quality of life through these modifications, coupled with other interventions.
Falls prevention among older adults living in the community, HPB-MOH Clinical practice guidelines, May 2015
Living, not existing: putting prevention at the heart of care for older people, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, UK 2017) PDF here:
Mobility scooters can be a lifesaver when it comes to maintaining your independence, but the reality of using one out in the community can be intimidating. We can provide you with essential training to ensure safe use of your motorised device, enabling you to go about your life in your community with confidence.
According to Townsend and Watson (2013), there are a number of prerequisite skills that are necessary in order to learn to use a motorised device in a range of environments including coordination, strength, balance, visual acuity, depth perception, reaction time, memory and concentration. Occupational therapists are identified as the profession with the best skills to provide comprehensive assessment examining a person’s prerequisite skills for motorised device use.
Occupational therapists at Lifeweavers are knowledgeable on the most suitable and effective equipment available, selected from a wide number of providers in the market. Our therapists are experienced and qualified in training individuals to use mobility devices safely with the best results to your functions.
Competent use of a mobility scooter – assessment, training and ongoing monitoring: a vital role for occupational therapy practice, Australian occupational therapy journal, Townsend and Watson (2013)
Caregiving has its ups and downs. It should not hinder the caregiver from their own lives either. This package is also designed in order to facilitate periods of respite for caregivers. Givens et al (2014) reports that 39% of caregivers experience depression, indicating that there can be a significant impact of caregiving on mental health.
Caregivers’ respite can provide opportunity for a much needed break from caregiving. This can reduce stress and allow the caregiver time to refresh and maintain their wellbeing so they can successfully continue their caregiver role. After all, they are a pivotal pillar of strength to the rehabilitation and healing of the person with a condition, why do we not need to take care of them too?
“Caregivers with higher levels of self-compassion report lower levels of burden” (Meurs 2018)
Lifeweavers promotes the need for caregivers to care for themselves, which in turn will benefit their loved ones. We can offer a variety of maintenance and respite packages to suit the needs of the client and family. Our respite service is also different because our technicians provide clinical observation and can provide insights towards our OT programs.
For individuals who are making progress, but require a longer term therapeutic option to maintain and develop their skills, our maintenance package can be the ideal next step. Our technicians work under the guidance of your allocated therapist to continue delivering high quality therapeutic interventions during a respite session.
Self-Compassion, Coping Strategies, and Caregiver Burden in Caregivers of People with Dementia, CLinical Gerontologist, Muers, Patterson and Marcak 2018 Abstract here
Depressive symptoms among caregivers: the role of mediating factors, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Givens et al 2014