The occupational therapy contribution to interventions for people with dementias
Occupational therapy Occupational therapists are health professionals interested in everyday life. Their patients are essentially those who, consequent to a disease, accident or developmental disorder experience difficulties in performing their occupations at home, at their workplace or in the community. Treatments are intended to help people to choose and engage in occupations they find satisfying. In practice, the occupational therapists propose to their patients activities that allow them to train their skills, give advice on how to act in different circumstances, suggest and realize change of environment and support adaptative strategies to new health conditions. Treatment is always a cooperative process between the occupational therapist and the patient (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, 1999). From an outside point of view, treatment often comprises ordinary everyday occupations such as using a lift or getting up from a chair, or exercises that are a little bit sophisticated such as moving special pieces on different targets, or games, or creative activities such as painting, or conversations (not always serious), or environment modifications such as reorganizing the contents of a cupboard (Meyer, 1996).