Recently published results from a study led by Dr. Verena R. Cimarolli of Jewish Home’s Research Institute on Aging may lead to more intensive use of occupational therapy by elders in nursing homes, which can lead to better physical functioning and overall quality of life.
The study, conducted at a Jewish Home facility, explored whether hearing and visual difficulties, and symptoms of depression have the effect of lowering the full use of occupational therapy by nursing home residents.
The results were published by JAMDA, the Journal of of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
The findings found positive correlations between hearing issues (which are quite common in elders) and depressive symptoms at admission and a lower number of hours of occupational therapy. Correlation with vision impairments was not found (the researchers provided reasons why that might not have been the case given the specifics of this study.)
Given that a successful regime of occupational therapy can lead to improving or maintaining independent functioning, which can lead to a higher quality of life for seniors, the study’s conclusion is that “this study emphasizes the importance of assessing and addressing hearing difficulties and depression in NH residents in order to optimize utilization of beneficial OT services.”
READ: abstract in JAMDA, the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (August 2016 edition)