Wednesday, 21 June 2017

When Retirement Provides Opportunities

One of the things I am really enjoying about being a freelance writer is the amount I am learning through searching for suitable opportunities for freelance writing jobs. Yesterday I was reading a certain website in order to decide whether it was suitable for my writing niche when I had the joy of stumbling upon an inspiring OT. In fact, she is one of the pioneers in the profession of occupational therapy.

The title of the article caught my attention. This lady is working at 92 years old. Wow. So many consider retirement age to be 60 or 65 years of age. Even today I read someone's question on FaceBook asking about the limits of retirement.

While for some, retirement is about reducing how much one does, taking it easy, winding down and just enjoying life until you leave this world, for others, retirement is often just the beginning. The beginning of a new phase in life where they have the opportunity to draw on their life experience to continue to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

I have seen this attitude in some of my relatives and now once more in a fellow OT. Barbara Beskind had a love of inventing. As a young girl, her initial inventions were of toys during the war time. By 10 years old she had a desire to become an inventor. As the various articles about her relay, Barbara was told that being an inventor required an engineering degree which was not a possibility for women at the time. She did not give up on her dream though. Her first training was in home economics. From there she signed up for the army and became an occupational therapist. She worked in the army for a few decades, rising up to the level of major. When she retired, she opened a private practice.

Now occupational therapy is an incredible profession that certainly has plenty of scope for inventing. Barbara used her love of inventing to design and patent several items for children with learning difficulties. Then, at the age of 89, she finally landed her dream job. A job with a company that enables her to spend her time doing what she loves most, inventing.

Barabara is not a completely healthy 92 year old. Legally blind due to maccula degeneration, Barbara uses her occupational therapy training and insight gained from her stage in the life cycle together with her visual deficit to design items to assist the elderly and visually impaired. One of the items mentioned is her adaptation of her nordic walking sticks.

In OT, building up grips, marking items in order to enable the visually impaired to identify them is part and parcel of our profession. However, not all OTs are working at 92 years old. What an inspiring OT.

You can learn more about Barbara in this video.





Monday, 19 June 2017

What are Our Goals Regarding Diet or Nutrition?

Have you ever spent much time reading articles or books on how to be healthy or how to live a healthy lifestyle? If you have, have you noticed that there are 3 main ingredients to this recipe of health. Yes, a few others too but 3 main ones.
  1. Healthy, balanced diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Balanced lifestyle
I could go into details but there is something that bothers me with the first one. If we need healthy food in order to be healthy, why is there such a push towards white flour and lots of sugar with plenty of additives.  And while we are at it, why are the meals in hospitals so wrong for patients.

What is our goal here? Is our goal health or keeping patients ill?

Recently I spent some time at a hospital with a relative of mine. There was hardly any food served over a 12 hour period. Fluids were even less.

When food was offered, the first option was a roll made of white flour with tuna and egg on it. Um, "this patient has a severe allergy to egg!" Answer given: "if you want food, eat it, if not not, that is all we have to offer?"

Great, there the patient is in ER and they are offering a food item the person is severely allergic to. How about having a question on the intake form of what food allergies the patient might have.

As to the white bread, well, all the articles, websites, magazines, books on healthy eating advocate whole grain or even another grain such as spelt, rye, oats. Why do we serve ill people food items that will make them more ill?

I posed the question in a group about food. Sadly many had dreadful experiences to share.
A dietician mentioned that when she was hospitalized the food she was given was all full of sugar and too much salt. They did not bother to find out that she is diabetic with blood pressure problems. Oh dear, that is potentially very dangerous! Very dangerous.

Again I find myself asking what is the goal? If it is health, then hospitals need to make sure that people with diabetes or allergies to food items are served food that is safe for them. Unless of course they are wanting to create a ward for patients suffering from reactions to problem food.

Someone else mentioned that when she was in hospital the salad was wilted and stale, the vegetables were over cooked and the rest of the list continues in a similar vein. OY. What is the goal here? Vegetables are healthy, but need to be cooked or served correctly. Do we really want health?

Someone commented that wanting healthy meals in hospitals is too much to ask for. In her words, "hospital food is the worst" and Heaven "help if you have any special dietary needs."

I could continue quoting horror stories and I could continue sharing peoples amazement that I would expect health and nutrition to be part of the diet served in hospitals.

Yes, healthy, nutritious food is what helps people to be healthy. If our goal is health the supermarkets needs to sell food that is healthy. Why is white flour that has been processed and refined more expensive than wholegrain, healthy flour? Why does so much have sugar in it? Where are our goals? Do we really want health?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

What about the food in hospitals? Some complained that the expense of healthy flour is higher than white flour and hospitals have a budget. Well, what about reducing readmission? Readmitting a patient costs too. Another complaint was the work involved in finding out dietary needs and meeting those diets. Oh dear, do hospitals really want to have diabetic comas on their hands or other side effects of diabetes or high sodium by giving the wrong foods? Do they really want patients to have a severe allergic reaction to a meal that contains food they are allergic to?

Treating the effects of reactions to problematic diets has to be considered. Why not start in the hospitals. If our goal is health and a healthy diet is top of the list of how to be healthy, then why not have healthy, nutritious food in hospitals?

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Monday, 12 June 2017

Introducing My Freelance Writing Service To OTs

Approximately 2 weeks ago, I had the good fortune to be chatting to a fellow OT. Shortly into the conversation she mentioned that she had noticed that I am also an author. She mentioned some of her current writing goals and her struggles in meeting these goals due to various commitments. I understood her frustration and shared my freelance writing service.

Initially we discussed the possibility of my writing some blog posts for her. We live in different time zones, so I sent off an email mentioning that if she is interested, I am also offering a ghostwriting service. It was getting late where I am so I left it at that and went off to bed.

The next morning I received the most wonderful email. What a joy and a surprise. She had decided to ask me to ghostwrite her ebook. The project is currently coming to an end. As I complete the final editing I can't help but ponder over this writing project. It has been so enjoyable for me from beginning to end.

The first treat was to work with someone who is punctual and respectful. One would expect that of a fellow OT, but so wonderful to experience anyway.

Our initial interview was informative, productive and focused. It made total sense that it would be. We are both familiar with the subject matter and just had to brainstorm some technical details.The writing too has been very satisfying.

So, I decided to write this short blog to let other OTs know. If you would like to develop your blog, your newsletters or even to get an ebook written, please do be in touch to discuss my freelance writing service.

I'm very much looking forward to hearing from you and to working together to help you to meet your writing goals too.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".
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