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Occupational therapy to maintain the functional capacity and social interactions of physically vulnerable elderly people living at home

The ageing population is increasing the number of vulnerable older persons and the need for professional and informal caregivers. Therefore, it is essential to develop an occupational therapy approach that meets their needs.

Occupational therapy has a significant impact on the functionality, mobility and participation of physically frail older adults. It can therefore contribute to the preservation of an elderly person’s autonomy and quality of life and that of their carer.

The occupational therapist is a professional care provider whose goal is to empower these people to participate fully in daily life and to make their surroundings easier to navigate.

In Belgian health care facilities, unlike in other Western settings, occupational therapists are only marginally recognised and are under-used in primary care.

Therefore, this project aims to develop Cebam-validated guidelines, on an approach to occupational therapy that promotes the maintenance of functionality and the social interaction of physically frail elderly people living at home.

An implementation plan for the guidelines is also being developed. An in-depth analysis of possible strategies for its large-scale application has been carried

Project coordination: 

Artevelde Hogeschool (part 1) and UGent-led Consortium (part 2)

Project managers:

Leen De Coninck, Leen Bouckaert, Bert Aertgeerts (part 1); Dominique Van de Velde,  Therese van Durme (part 2)