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HOME / people living with dementia / Managing symptoms and changes / 3.13 Occupational therapy and home modifications
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3.13 Occupational therapy and home modifications

Occupational therapists can help you overcome difficulties and identify home modifications to keep you safe at home.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is delivered by trained healthcare professionals known as occupational therapists who help people so that they can keep doing their everyday activities. For example, an occupational therapist might help someone to continue cooking their meals by rearranging their kitchen and adding labels so that ingredients and equipment are easier to find. They might also help organize recipes into a folder and help the person practice using them. Some people with dementia find it harder to write legibly, so an occupational therapist might help with their handwriting as well. Research studies consistently show that occupational therapy helps people with dementia to keep doing things that are important to them and delays the need to go into a long-term care home. 

Learn more about how occupational therapists can help people by clicking here to be directed to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

You can search for an occupational therapist in your area using this search function.

 

Home modifications

Home modifications are changes made to your home which make it easier and safer for you to go about your daily activities. Examples of home modifications are: 

  • adding safety rails or improved lighting where someone might trip 
  • removing furniture that is blocking a pathway 
  • buying a new chair with arms that make it easier to rise from a seated position. 

Home modifications might also involve the use of technology such as an iPad or digital clock/calendar.  

This website has suggestions for how to make each room in your home dementia enabling. This means that your home is set up to help you live as independently as possible. 

Here are some home safety tips to prevent falls. For a comprehensive self-assessment, you can click here. It takes a bit longer to complete the assessment, but the website will email you their feedback about your home safety based on your responses. 

Occupational therapists can conduct home assessments and make recommendations for modifications.