Depression & Older Adults

Depression is common among older adults but is NOT a normal part of aging. Just how many older adults suffer from depression? According to the CDC, those living with major depression can range from 1-5% of those living in the community, where that rate increase to 13.5% with those receiving home health care and to 11.5% with those living in a care community/hospital.

The CDC goes on to say that older adults are at an increased risk for depression. As you age, your health declines. 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 50% have two or more. Depression is more prevalent in people who suffer from chronic conditions. Often times depression goes undiagnosed in those living with one or more chronic conditions. It can be mistaken for a natural reaction to illness. These patients often don’t reach out for help either because they don’t understand they can feel better with proper treatment.

It is good to understand some of the warning signs of depression so that you can help provide support when it is most needed. If a person you are in contact displays some of the signs and symptoms below it may be a good time to point them to counseling resources.

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment

If you would like to learn more about how Covell Care & Rehabilitation’s counseling services can help contact our office at (970) 204-4331 or visit our website at

Occupational Therapy in Oncology

There is a growing number of cancer survivors in America today. According to AOTA, almost 1 in 20 adults and 1 in 5 of all people over the age of 65 have survived cancer in America. Research for cancer treatment has become more prevalent, treatment has become more aggressive and people are treated at older ages so their survival rates are highly. With more aggressive treatment plans people are experiencing and increase in side effects…that is where occupational therapy has become a mainstream for those living and/or surviving cancer.

Occupational therapy helps these people live a better quality of life, focusing on physiological needs, impaired cognition and fatigue that comes with cancer treatment. Jennifer Hughes, OTR, MOT states it perfectly, “we are giving them back their control over their environment and their daily function. We offer them control in a very uncontrollable situation”.

Have more questions about occupational therapy? Give our office a call to learn more. (970) 204-4331

Want to help us fight against cancer? Join our Relay for Life team today – Team AMP. Follow this link to sign-up and together we will fight!


Occupational Therapy & Exercise

Blog post provided by guest blogger and OT graduate student Lori Baird with Colorado State University. 

Imagine what it would be like to not have enough strength in your arms or hands for your daily activities. How would you be able to bathe, cook, put on your clothes, or eat? Strength and agility is necessary to be able to do these basic activities independently and many people find themselves in circumstances where they are unable to physically conduct the necessary occupations of life. Exercise is the primary means of creating and maintaining strength for the daily activities of a person’s life.

This is why therapeutic exercise is such a valuable part of the rehabilitation process for clients participating in occupational therapy (OT). In the world of OT therapeutic exercise can include any of the following; range of motion (passive and active) exercise which helps maintain joint mobility, aerobic exercise which helps increase the heart rate and provides conditioning, resistive exercise which helps build muscle strength and endurance, and stretching which helps lengthen muscles. Occupational therapists utilize all of these therapeutic exercises with the end goal of helping their client’s regain independence in their valued occupations of life. Not only does exercise benefit the physical capacities of clients but it also improves mood, increases overall quality of life, and prevents further health decline.

This is even more important as a person ages! Older age coupled with the development of a chronic disease often make regular exercise more challenging and less likely to occur without intentional intervention. Exercise is beneficial in treatment of many chronic diseases and research shows that “perhaps the most universal and effective treatment for chronic illness and disability in late life is physical exercise” (Bean, 2004). Therefore, occupational therapy encourages therapeutic exercise to help with a person’s overall wellness and aims to target particular activities that a person needs to build strength and endurance with.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

No matter what type of organization or occupation you may hold in the senior healthcare industry at one point or another you encounter a person living with some form of dementia or neurological disease. A new test was developed by scientists in Italy, Japan and the U.K. called RT-QuIC, which stands for “real-time quaking-induced conversion”. This test has mostly been used to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CRD), a rare and fatal form of dementia.

Scientists are now working on a modified version of this test as a way to detect Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s. Because of the ability of this test to detect certain proteins and peptides it may be able to detect early stages of these disease processes.

Listen to NPR’s segment on this finding. Quite fascinating and a new avenue to support those living with dementia.

Occupational Therapy in Perinatal Care

Blog post provided by guest blogger and OT graduate student Lori Baird with Colorado State University. Covell Care and Rehabilitation’s certified therapists provide services to new moms dealing with the following issues. Inquiries about services can be made by calling 970-204-4331. In-person or over-the-phone consults are available. 

The transition to becoming a new mom can be difficult and exhausting. Suddenly you are thrust into new roles and routines like changing diapers, and having to devote all of your attention to a baby. In addition, your body is changing and there are fluctuations with your hormones that make you feel like you are going crazy!

According to the American Psychological Association many women experience the “baby blues,” which involves mood swings, anxiety, crying, and stress after a baby isborn. In addition, 1 in 7 women experience even more serious mood disorders –postpartum depression. While hormonal changes are taking place within the body a vast number of physical changes also occur, some of which include diastasis recti (abdominal separation), postural dysfunction, and pelvic floor dysfunction. All of these changes both inside and outside the body take a toll on women’s well-being and overall health.

Occupational therapists (OT) have a unique role to play when it comes to empoweringnew moms to cope with and manage their own health and wellness while dealing with an ever-changing and often challenging life role. By focusing on interventions that enhance meaningful occupational engagement, occupational therapists can help new mom’s build confidence and positive self-efficacy in their new motherhood roles and decrease the risk for postpartum depression.

How can an OT help? An OT can help through providing holistic, client-centered interventions that help…

  • Reduce the stress and depression associated with the transition to motherhood through mindfulness techniques.
  • Mindfulness techniques can restore hormonal imbalances; improve mood, foster mother-infant bonding and parental bonding.
  • Provide education and training on incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction postpartum.
  • Strengthen and tone pelvic floor muscles
  • Correct diastasis recti
  • Provide education and training to improve postural alignment with use of correct ergonomics to decrease back pain and repetitive strain injuries. Evaluate and assess women in their home, work, and community for optimal role performance.

The interventions listed above are just a sample of what an OT can offer women throughout their perinatal care. This type of rehabilitative care empowers women to take control of their health and thus live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.