Meet Jun: Residing in Senior’s Living
Background: Jun is an 82-year-old woman living alone in a seniors’ apartment. She had injured her right shoulder eight months ago. It seemed to be slowly getting better, but then it took a turn for the worse in March 2020.
Difficulty: She cannot lift her right arm to wash her hair and dressing is difficult. It seems that everything she does aggravates her pain. Some days she stays in bed. She cannot go out for her groceries or errands because of her shoulder, and so a friend has been helping with delivering her groceries to her once a week. She is not sleeping at night, and her short-term memory is getting unreliable.
Referral: Jun’s building manager suggested an OT and that Jun try the Search for an OT search feature to find an OT with experience in supported living. The building manager was aware of the value of occupational therapy because she had seen other residents in the building receiving practical and timely assistance for various physical and mental issues from occupational therapists, allowing them to maintain their independence and quality of life.
How Occupational Therapy assisted Jun:
- The occupational therapist cued Jun to check with her family physician about other ways to manage her shoulder pain.
- Provided education including,
– How pain tries to protect us, but hurt does not equal harm, and that movement is important to recovery.
– Provided suggestions for ways to manage difficult tasks, or ways around it.
– To keep a more regular daily routine, getting out of bed in the morning, and resting less during the day so that Jun will sleep better at night.
- Helped Jun add pleasant daily events, such as getting outside to watch the birds or take a walk, to take her mind off her pain and to boost her mood.
- Completed a memory screen and suggested memory aids and strategies that can be incorporated to help her function effectively and maintain her independence.
Outcome for Jun:
- She devloped a routine of activity and rest.
- Learned how to break activities down into smaller steps.
- She now walks every day, and her sleep is much improved.
- Jun is aware of the resources available to assist her with daily tasks.
- She is now using non-medication strategies and self-management to deal with her pain and mood. These strategies helped increase Jun’s functional ability and confidence.