Occupational Therapy Gerontological Gems #929191

Yet again I'm putting off my OT-Aging in Place post, but instead I'll post a few things I learned the other day from our guest lecturer (as always I'm just an occupational therapy student and easily misunderstand, take things I say with a grain of salt). I have many more to share but I'll give you just four gems today to draw out the pleasure!! I just jotted down what I found most interesting during her lecture so I could share it here.

Ever heard someone say “He only hears what he wants to hear?”. Most people say that when, for example, you talk loudly to Grandpa and he doesn't listen, but then you whisper about him and he hears you. To the average person that is a sign that he just only pays selective attention. Well, we found out from our speaker that in fact, older people tend to lose their higher pitches first – so talking loudly may not register if you have a higher voice – yet when you whisper you have to drop your pitch and therefore the person may hear you.

Trombone arm: nursing home vernacular for a person with presbyopia (far-sighted) who keeps holding a piece of paper in front of them at varying lengths to try and read it

“Nursing home hot” = term for a really hot room, referring to how older people prefer hot rooms due to their loss of thermoregulation. I can vouch that my grandmother has this. When we visited her this summer and her thermostat was messed up, it was almost 90 degrees in her house, and I had to get up multiple times during the night to pour cold water on myself.

A good activity of daily life (which is an area of occupation) to work on with older people includes dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing- the lecturer's dentist always says “only brush teeth you want to keep”, and since old people are susceptible to receding gumlines, dental hygiene is crucial to prevent a host of problems.

Jan 12, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none