Sunday, 30 November 2014

Safety in the Kitchen

Safety in the kitchen is a topic that Occupational Therapists work with a lot. There are many different factors that can affect our safety in the home and especially the kitchen. Many of the scenarios that result in a referral for occupational therapy intervention are related to rehabilitation. In this post, I'd like to touch on an area I prefer, that of prevention.

One of the obvious times to consider safety in the home and the best time to develop the type of home that will be conducive to health is when a couple gets married. Why? This is the time that many or most couples are selecting the kinds of items they would like in their home and setting up wish lists at various stores that offer a bridal registry. 

So what does this have to do with a pot?

The answer is simple. I recently had the opportunity to work with a young mother and during discussion it transpired that safety in the kitchen is an area for concern. On starting to evaluate her kitchen, the first problem was quickly identified when taking a look at both layout, the type of pots she has and the sequence of her cooking routine. The first obvious change to make was to the type of pots. The pots she was given when she got married a year or so before all have just one handle. As a young mother, with her mind partly on her young baby and only partly on the cooking and weak wrists from the pregnancy, the one handled pots are not a very good idea. The easiest solution is plan well before you marry. When asking for pots, go for the ones with two handles.Having two handles to hold instead of just one helps to conserve your energy, to share the weight between both hands, to ensure you concentrate on the task of caring your heavy pot of cooked food. Keep in mind the contents of a pot that is cooked is usually boiling in temperature. You don't want that landing on yourself or a small child.

Are you getting married and in need of guidance to work out what items will be most needed in your new kitchen?

Are you newly married and needing assistance to improve the kitchen you are developing?

If you are in Israel, do visit my website Be A Happy Mom and be in touch if you or your child require occupational therapy intervention.

If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.
This post is prepared for you by:
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Stress and a Fun Way to Relax

Do you find you get stressed in the day? Have you noticed what kind of events, situations, environments or sensory stimuli cause you stress and aggravation?

What reaction to you have, is it physical, emotional or something else?

What helps you to relax and feel better?

In the YouTube video below, this topic is touched on with an interesting solution.


Do you like kittens? If you have an allergy then this is not a good idea. If not, why not try spending a little time with kittens or other animals.

What else can you to do relax, unwind and feel happy and ready to face the day. 

If you are in Israel, do visit my website Be A Happy Mom and be in touch if you or your child require occupational therapy intervention.

If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.
This post is prepared for you by:
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Can I Ignore my Child's Sensory Processing Problems?


If my child has sensory processing issues, can I just ignore it? Will it just improve on it's own? Does it really have an effect on my child's quality of life and ability to function?

The answer is, yes, sensory processing is a very important part of the development of your child and yes it impacts on every area of your child's level of functioning and as such their quality of life. Problems or issues related to sensory processing affect ones eating, washing and brushing ones hair, dressing, tolerating clothing, bathing, writing, concentrating, sitting still in class to learn and much, much more. As a result of all these difficulties emotional problems arise such as low self esteem, poor body image, difficulty interacting with others. 

As far as whether it will just rectify itself, usually the only way it resolves is with intervention by an occupational therapist skilled in treating sensory processing problems. 

Can my child cope if I don't take him / her to O.T.? It depends on what you call coping. Today I evaluated a young lady who is married a short time and expecting her first child. Her sensory processing issues were not dealt with as a child and though she learned to compensate pretty well as she is very intelligent, now all kinds of issues are coming out. Pregnancy can do that. And suddenly she can't cope.

So my advise is, don't wait until your child is an adult and can not cope with married life and expecting her first child. As soon as you notice any difficulties in the area of sensory processing, take your child to be evaluated by an occupational therapist and work with the O.T. to help your child to function as effectively as possible. If you value your child and being a parent, do the responsible thing and seek the intervention you need. No, reading up on the topic does not replace intervention with a qualified, licensed therapist. The reward of a happy child once she herself is married and starting her own home and family will make all the effort well worth it. 

If you are in Israel, do visit my website Be A Happy Mom and be in touch if you or your child require occupational therapy intervention.

If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.

This post is prepared for you by:
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Safety when Making a Cup of Tea


I've had quite some response to my post on making a cup of tea. Yesterday I noticed someone came searching for safety tips in making a cup of tea. Yes, safety is a big area of concern for occupational therapists. 

Here are a few areas that an occupational therapist will look at regarding safety.

1) If the person is able to stand, what is their stability and endurance like? Why? Can you imagine someone falling in the kitchen with a hot cup of tea in their hands? What can be the outcome? Can you imagine what would happen if they fall against a hot stove when heating a kettle on the stove top? What would happen if they lose their balance when pouring the kettle of boiling water?

2) Is there sufficient light and ventilation in the kitchen? Is the person making the cup of tea aware of the environmental factors and how they might affect his / her level of function

3) Can the person lift the kettle with ease or is a kettle tipper indicated?

4) Can the person see at all, and if not, what is their level of functioning like? 

5) What is the person's memory like? e.g. If they put a kettle on a stove top to heat up, will they remember to turn of the flame or stove when the water has boiled? If the flame goes out, will they notice it and know to turn off the gas, after all the danger of the gas igniting is a real one. 

These are the first few ideas that come to mind. Can you think of any factors that might affect safety in the kitchen?

These might be just questions. When evaluating whether and how someone can make a cup of tea, a lot of questions go through the therapists mind. Afterwards s/he will devise ways to ensure safety in the kitchen.

If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.

This post is prepared for you by:
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Living a Fulfilling Life in Your Retirement


Two days ago, we had the opportunity to meet a very inspiring lady. She has come for 10 days to visit Israel from the US. Her first visit in 20 years. What is so inspiring? 

We had a chat about the places she had seen. How she enjoyed visiting the Shuk (Market). How she enjoyed hearing the Friday night service from the Synagogue opposite where she is staying. How she enjoyed a bus ride around Jerusalem, lasting a few hours and the photographs she managed to take.

Then she explained she is 87 years old and has her walker with her that has a seat so that she can sit down if she needs to. She knows her limits in terms of strength, energy, concentration and decides what to do accordingly. She has come to experience life in Jerusalem and is doing a wonderful job.

In order to be such a sprightly 87 year old, has taken looking after her health all the years and maintaining interests. Being over 80 does not stop her from enjoying life, setting goals, achieving what she can and adapting where she knows a trip would be too much for her.

Do you take care of your health? Have you developed a healthy, balanced lifestyle that will support your living a long life? Do you have interests to keep you inspired when you reach retirement?

If you need assistance in any of these areas and live in Israel, do be in touch with Shoshanah
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Blind Dog Saves a Drowning Teenager

There are those who believe a blind or disabled person has no purpose in this world. There are some that believe that there is little of meaning for someone with various disabilities, blindness included.
Sadly when it comes to animals or pets, some give up on their animals when they develop any deficit.

This powerful video demonstrates how a blind dog can become a hero and save the life of a drowning teenager. 

Adaptive Equipment in Occupational Therapy

I have received some enquiries as to what equipment could be needed in an Occupational Therapy Practice. Of course it depends on the kinds of clients an OT works with. Before we begin an article with a description of why equipment is necessary and what equipment is used by an O.T. here is a video that provides a visual illustration of just one area of the role of the O.T.

If you have questions or comments, please post them or be in touch.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Benefits of a Golden Retriever in OT.

Ever wondered about the use of animals in therapy or combined with occupational therapy?
 
The video below gives a good idea as to the benefit of including animals (in this case a Golden Retriever dog) in O.T. sessions. It shows a little about an O.T. room and the importance of selecting play / activities that are meaningful to the person.

Notice how much movement, interaction and response is obtained by the little boy by placing him both in an OT room with a skilled O.T. together with a loving dog who is trained for this purpose too.

 


If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.

This post is prepared for you by:
Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Monday, 10 November 2014

Novel for Teens about Relationships




Do you work with teenagers or have children or friends who are teenagers? Are you looking for a gift or a good book for them to read? I highly recommend the novel "Relationships" by R.A. Kahn. It is an easy read, fun, entertaining, gripping and covers many topics related to relationships, social skills, attending high school and more.

If you are an O.T. and run a social skills or life skills group for teenagers, this book lends itself to much discussion. It can be read with the group and used as a springboard to discuss various types of relationships, values, importance of developing a social circle and more. 

Needing to improve interest in reading, this book will certainly provide much interest for the young reader? Needing quality books to use to improve vocabulary and reading skills for those learning English as a second language? This book is perfect for that goal too.

If you have any comments about the book or have read the book and are interested in writing a review, please be in touch.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Can One Come Out of a Coma?



A reader recently asked, "Can one recover from a coma? Can one come out of a coma and regain function?"

The short answer is yes, someone who goes into a coma can come out of it. Of course, there are different factors that will determine the extent to which a person will come out of the coma and the level of function that is possible to regain. The whole truth is that sadly, some do not come out.

Medicine does provide some guidelines for this, but there is a lot that is not known or understood by the doctors.

I have worked with clients who suffered a severe head injury or had multiple system failure after an overdose and doctor's prediction was that the person could not come out of such a coma. Yet, some of them have not only come out of the coma but regained function. The level of function they regained did vary from patient to patient but the outcome for these patients far exceeded doctor's predictions

This post was prepared for you by 
Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

If you are an occupational therapist and interested in the topic of coma and coma stimulation do be in touch to learn with Shoshanah. 

If you are in Israel and have a relative who is in a coma, a doctor's referral is required in order to carryout coma stimulation. Once you obtain permission from the doctor, you are welcome to book a consultation or series of coma stimulation sessions with Shoshanah.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Why Do OTs Make Tea




Someone recently asked me, "Why do OT's make tea?"

That's a very good question. We could in fact have a patient make a cup of coffee or a cup of hot chocolate or any other warm beverage. That is assuming we wish to evaluate how a person can make a hot cup of something. So why do we use tea?

I don't remember learning that in university, but I can offer a few ideas. Firstly, taking a tea bag out of a box or jar of teabags is a different movement and skill to using a teaspoon to place a teaspoon of coffee, hot chocolate or other powder into the cup. This action we already see when someone adds a teaspoon of sugar. If the tea bags are two joined together, we are able to observe yet another aspect of hand function.

Try it for yourself. Take two tea bags that are joined together and separate them. Place one back in the box and the other in the cup. Notice how many hand movements were involved. Notice how many steps. Notice how you need to remember the sequence of tasks.

Tea bags are quite often very reasonable to obtain so it is a cost effective method of testing a persons ability to make a hot beverage.

Of course, you can simulate the whole thing or have someone mime what they will do, but it is really very different to seeing them actually make a cup of tea.

These are just a few ideas. If you have any questions please post them here or be in touch.

This post is prepared for you by:
Occupational Therapist, healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Book - A Work in Progress

I am gradually re-reading the book that I wrote over 10 yeas ago. I have two chapters that I need to re-write almost completely. It is amazing how the passage of time leads to increased knowledge, insight, a little more wisdom and yes, development in various areas of health and my profession. In some ways I am glad I shelved the book for some time. I hope now the editing will result in a better, more complete and polished final product. It means there is more work to do, but work is a good thing.

If you have an interest in seeing books written on the topic of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) or you are interested in the journey someone with such an illness goes through, why not become a partner in the process? If you are Jewish and would like to learn some Torah concepts or how a chronic illness can impact one's life for the better, you can help this book to come into being. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Few Facts about M.E.

A little information about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Did you know this term for this multi-system disease was first used in the 1950's?

Did you know there is an International Consensus Panel for M.E. consisting of clinicians, research investigators, teaching faculty and independent educators? They even have a booklet you can obtain that provides some invaluable information about the condition, it's diagnosis, effects, assessment and intervention.

There was a time people liked to pass off M.E. as purely psychological. This panel demonstrates that the condition is neurological and in fact affects multiple systems with dramatic impact to quality of life for all those who suffer from it. 

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