Super cool study on "occupation" with older adults


Great study done. Essentially asking older people to do puzzles and basic “cognitive” tasks didn’t do much, but if it was made meaningful/intriguing, they did awesome after a 14 week study. The digital photography group did the best, although there were other great combinations as well. I recommend skimming the article above, the take-away message is definitely the philosophy that occupational therapy espouses – activity without meaning is nearly worthless. Activities with meaning dramatically improve a variety of skills. 
I see it in my own life. I think we all do. Give us challenging tasks and whether we succeed depends heavily on motivation and meaning
One of my first “real life” examples of the importance of meaning was on a Level 1 OT 2-week fieldwork in a rehab setting, working with a patient who needed to improve standing tolerance. We did small activities that were “meaningful enough” while standing and he would tolerate roughly 3 minutes before needing to sit and take a break from it. I found out he was a big traveller and liked to talk about going all over the United States. I went and found a dollar store USA-states puzzle and asked him to pull out the states he loved the most and tell me about his adventures there, while completing the puzzle. He stayed up nearly eleven minutes as he was so engrossed. His activity tolerance that time was approximately THREE TIMES as long, due to MEANING.  OCCUPATION.
Survive + Occupational Therapy = Thrive
NEW TSHIRT LOGO BABY! It may already exist…usually my brilliance is always found to be too late 😉 ahahahaha
Nov 12, 2013 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none