Best Occupational Therapy Activities for Adults

Patient working on  occupational therapy activity 

Occupational therapy is a powerful tool that assists individuals in getting the most out of life by helping them participate in everyday activities at the highest possible level of independence. Some people seek occupational therapy as a rehabilitation tool following an illness or injury.  Others use it to help them overcome or adapt to the physical challenges that come with aging. Using a combination of education, rehabilitation techniques, and targeted activities to promote self-reliance, an occupational therapist helps patients to improve or maintain a high quality of life. 

To the untrained eye, many of the activities that our occupational therapists at Bella Vista do with patients look like “just for fun” activities, but they are chosen very carefully as part of a strategic care plan created for each individual. 

Want to get a feel for what occupational therapy might be like? Here are 5 great occupational therapy activities for adults that you can easily do at home—or with a group of friends.  They’re all fun and provide very significant physical, mental, and emotional benefits. So, go ahead: Grab a buddy and get started!

Activity: Origami paper folding

What you need: Origami paper and instructions
How it helps: Origami paper folding supports hand-eye coordination, mental concentration, and overall hand function required for everyday tasks such as opening shampoo bottles.  Reading directions or following instruction diagrams helps boost brain power as well. 

Activity: Stringing beads

What you need: Large beads and a shoelace knotted at one end
How it helps: Stringing beads together enhances dexterity and fine motor skills that can be used to set out vitamins, supplements, and prescriptions in a weekly pill tray, thereby helping to maintain independence with medication. Creating fun patterns can also help inspire creativity and provide additional mental health benefits.

Activity: Ball Toss

What you need: A beach ball and a friend
How it helps: Tossing a light ball back and forth with a friend (or just up into the air on your own) supports range of motion and upper body strength, both of which help in activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. 

Activity: Memoir writing

What you need: Paper and pen or a word processing program on your computer
How it helps: Writing your life down on paper can have a positive effect on both cognitive functioning and mental health. These benefits are enhanced when stories are shared and discussed in a safe and supportive setting. 

Activity: Yoga

What you need: Your body, a comfortable mat, and enough space to stretch out
How it helps: Gentle yoga exercises help improve balance, flexibility, muscle tone, focus, and concentration. They can also help with fall prevention and an enhanced sleep quality. Yoga can be done in a class setting or at home with a DVD. 

Looking for occupational therapy services in San Diego? We can help. 

Occupational therapy is a specialized type of rehabilitation that begins with an evaluation and assessment of the patient’s functioning. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from occupational therapy, we’re happy to help. At Bella Vista Health Center in San Diego, our occupational therapists are highly trained and committed to helping each patient restore functioning and achieve their highest possible level of independence. For more information on our occupational therapy programs or any of our other rehabilitative services, give us a call at (619) 644-1000 or stop by our 5-star skilled nursing facility in Lemon Grove today.