The relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons: La relation entre les schèmes d’intégration sensorielle et la participation occupationnelle chez les personnes âgées

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Abstract

Background.

Meaningful occupational engagement is essential for successful aging. Sensory-processing abilities that are known to deteriorate with age may reduce occupational engagement. However, the relationship between sensory-processing abilities and occupational engagement among older persons in daily life is unknown.

Purpose.

This study examined the relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons.

Method.

Participants were 180 people, ages 50 to 73 years, in good health, who lived in their homes. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile and the Activity Card Sort.

Findings.

Better registration of sensory input and greater sensory seeking were related to greater occupational engagement.

Implications.

Sensory-processing abilities among older persons and their relation to occupational engagement in various life settings should receive attention in research and practice. Occupational therapists should encourage older people to seek sensory input and provide them with rich sensory environments for enhancing meaningful engagement in real life.

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