Occupational Therapy For Seniors in the UK

Occupational Therapy For Seniors in the UK

Occupational Therapy is an essential activity for many seniors in the UK for maintaining physical health and dexterity, empowering many to maintain independence and improving day to day enjoyment.

We have an aging population in the United Kingdom. with 40% of the population being over 50 and 20% being over the age of 65, as stated by the most recent ageing better – state of ageing report from 2023.

With this rising average age within the UK population, the likelihood of finding people suffering from muscle weakness, joint problems and mobility issues increases. In this article we will cover the importance of occupational therapy can benefit seniors & how to access these services nationally.

How to Access Occupational Therapy Nationally in the United Kingdom

In England, you can access occupational therapy for free through the NHS or your local council. Alternatively you can search for a private practice who may offer faster service and more scheduling flexibility.

Understanding Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is: the use of particular activities as an aid to recuperation from physical or mental illness. As stated by the Oxford dictionary. But within the context of occupational therapy for the elderly it would involve taking part in a multitude of tasks that would address any physical, psychological or environmental challenges that the person is currently facing.

These tasks will be done with the end goal being that with repetition, the senior being treated will experience a higher quality of life & will able to be more self reliant, with an overall increase in well-being.

The Benefits of Occupational Therapy

  • Improved Independence: Elderly people who take part consistently will be re-equipped with the skills necessary for daily living.
  • Fall Prevention: Occupational therapists can assess a home to see if there are any modifications that need to be made to reduce the risk of falls. One prime example of a modification would be the installation of a stair lift.
  • Cognitive Support: Through cognitive tasks & exercises, occupational therapy can help manage any changes. Improving the mental well-being of seniors & their problem solving skills.
  • Emotional Well-being: Taking part in meaningful and enjoyable activities will improve emotional health. Socializing with others will improve ones mental health & reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.
  • Physical Health: Bespoke exercise programs tailored to the elderly person in mind can minimize muscle weakness & improve co-ordination.

How to get the most out of Occupational Therapy

  1. Be Proactive: You don’t have to wait until you’re in pain to start occupational therapy. If you notice that daily activities are getting harder & harder to complete It may be time to reach out.
  2. Stay Engaged: Give occupational therapy your all & actively participate. It only works through consistency & repetition.
  3. Communicate Openly: Its useful to share your goals and aspirations for occupational therapy with your therapist so that they can tailor what you will be doing to what you would like to achieve.
Occupational Therapy For Seniors in the UK

Could you be an Occupational Therapist?

With the UK’s aging population, the demand for senior care services rises with it. This means that if you are someone younger who is looking for a new career, an apprenticeship in occupational therapy might be the next step forward for you.

With the average salary for fully qualified occupational therapists being between £28k-£50k as reported by the national careers service, the rewards from being an occupational therapist are not only the satisfaction from having a direct positive affect on individuals who require occupational therapy, but also stability & security when it comes to your salary.

Entry requirements for an Occupational Therapy Apprenticeship can vary, but typically a degree apprenticeship requires 2 to 3 A levels or equivalent within a related field such as biological science, health science or psychology.


Occupational Therapy is a lifeline for many elderly people across the UK, offering essential assistance to those who want to live freely & Independently. Through understanding how to get occupational therapy, the benefits & the future of the practice allows us to get a deeper understanding of the influence occupational therapy can have on seniors & their families.

As the United Kingdom continues to age, the need for occupational therapy rises and the demand for these services will only increase. Opening opportunities for the younger generations for fulfilling and rewarding careers that will be able to support them throughout their lives.