Dementia and Occupational Therapy

Useful Information To Improve Your Skills To Manage At Home with Dementia Occupational Therapy


Practical dementia occupational therapy (OT) home program designed to optimise self sufficiency, reduce carer stress and enhance quality of life.

Address The Impact On Your Day To Day Life

No doubt you appreciate that experiencing dementia dramatically impacts the lives of the person and their care givers.

Its also clear it’s a significant cost emotionally, mentally, physically and financially.

A growing trend in developed countries worldwide.

People are likely to experience losses and changes in

Many people also experience a decrease in the quality of life placing strain on their immediate family and friends. Care givers will often mention experiences of feeling helpless, being socially isolated and losing control of having an independent and unrestricted life.

After The Diagnosis Of Dementia How Can Occupational Therapy Help?

Commonly there is a strong focus on behaviour and symptoms rather than the immediate and short term needs of the person and their carers. 

At this time, as you’d appreciate,  people will often form an opinion that nothing can be done.

To date there is no cure for dementia.  However, there is strong evidence for occupational therapy to support that the quality of life and self sufficiency of people with dementia which can be improved as well as carer sense of freedom and control.

Randomised Control Trial Supporting Community OT Dementia Program: BMJ. 2006 December 9; 333(7580): 1196

An Example Of How To Optimise Skills At Home

Case Story

Frank, a retired bank clerk, lived with his wife of over 40years.  A recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Dementia, confirmed what many in the family had noted as  “Dad is not ..right”.

Though for Frank’s wife, there was some relief to the diagnosis.  However, as she mentioned to her daughter, a diagnosis doesn’t help me at 5.30pm nor when I want to get him to sleep at night.

You see, Frank was not sleeping well and his wife had found him on two occasions with his leg half over the side verandah gate, trying to go to work at the early hours of the morning.

An Example of OT Treatment

Helping Frank’ achieve his goal to be more self sufficient in day to day tasks. This involved

Why Active Living With Dementia Is Key

A key recommendation of the Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia states…..

The person with dementia should be encouraged to exercise, eat well, keep doing as much for themselves as possible and stay socially connected in their local community. Staff and carer(s) should be taught how to encourage independence.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia

Occupational Therapy For Dementia Caregivers

Far too often we’ve witnessed the love, commitment and determination of the caregiver be eroded by frustration, fatigue and lack of support and strategies.

Success at home be whatever that means for you is dependent on the health, vitality and skills of the primary caregiver.

According to the previously mentioned Dementia Clinical Practice Guidelines

Carer(s) and family should be supported to care for the person with dementia. They should be offered education and training to enable them to develop skills in managing the symptoms of dementia and be offered respite when needed. Carer(s) and family should be given information about coping strategies to maintain their own wellbeing and be supported to maintain their overall health and fitness

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia

That’s why the Skills At Home Dementia Occupational Therapy Program exists.

Introducing The Skills At Home Program

Here’s How May Help You

Whether you’re being proactive with your wellbeing or you’re are carer for a family member with dementia, occupational therapy offers a “person centred” approach and acknowledges the role and support needs of the care team.

You can expect coming into the clinic as well as a number of home visits by a registered occupational therapist.

Firstly, your therapist will complete a comprehensive occupational therapy dementia assessment.

This will secondly, support the development of a personalised treatment plan.


It may include: 

How Can We Help You?

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Sources and Helpful Resources

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