I am occupational therapist Irene Diaz and today, World Day of Occupational Therapy, I have the opportunity to write this article on the NeuronUP blog, in which many health professionals related to neurorehabilitation write. Thank you for counting on my professional contribution. In this article I will try to explain briefly my work, how I practice occupational therapy at my patients’ homes and how I integrate the NeuronUP platform into it.
My work as an occupational therapist is aimed at older people in the context of their homes. I do occupational therapy at home. I carry out a therapy adapted to the person, individualized and in an integral way, that is to say, I intervene in the area that the person needs.
As you know, the main objective of occupational therapy is to make the person as independent as possible in their daily life activities. Here’s what it is:
Activities of Daily Living:
Activities of daily living are all those activities that a person performs on a daily basis from getting up to going to bed.
They are everyday tasks such as:
- Personal care (feeding, dressing, bathing, maintaining hygiene when defecating, urinating, etc.), which includes basic ADLs.
We can say that these activities are essential to life, respond to more basic instincts, require a lower level of organization, and are simpler.
- Home care (cooking, organizing the house, shopping, washing, etc.) and other tasks (controlling medication, handling money, going on excursions, working, etc.), called instrumental ADLs.
These require a greater degree of organization than the previous ones (the basic ADLs) and vary according to the environment in which we move. Thus, for example, public transport is not handled the same way in a city as in a rural environment, and even the handling of money is different in both environments. We can say, then, that these activities are necessary for life in society.
Carrying out as many activities as possible is very important, because by carrying out tasks as simple as dusting or eating, at the same time we are reinforcing, maintaining or stimulating other very important aspects without realizing it:
- Create motivation when it comes to surpassing ourselves and carrying out activities in an autonomous way.
- Connect with our environment.
- Strengthen relationships with others and with ourselves.
- Work on reflexes.
- Coordinate the wide movements and also the precise ones.
- Exercise sensory perception through the senses.
- Orient ourselves in time, space and person.
- Promote cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, concentration, judgment, organization and problem solving.
With all of the above, we maintain the level of general independence to carry out the activities of daily life.
The more activities we do, the more we remain ourselves.
I work on all of this in each occupational therapy session, with individualized therapy that is totally adapted to the person.
We will be more independent, the more activities we are able to perform ourselves.
This is the best way to combat pathological aging, such as cases of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other diseases of advanced age. Patients and/or their families contact me because they show some difficulty in carrying out some activity of daily life. That difficulty may be reflected in one or more of the following functional components:
1. Sensoriomotor Components:
- Neuromuscular Reflexes
- Postural control
- Motor coordination
- Activity Tolerance
- Knowledge through the senses
- Perceptual skills…
2. Cognitive Components and cognitive integration:
- Intellectual operations
- Problem solving
- Interests and goals
- Concept of self
- Social (conversation, social behavior)…
Considering the situation of each patient, the activities will be oriented to improve the functional components that make the daily life of that person difficult.
Home occupational therapy with NeuronUP
As I have explained before, it can happen that a person is limited in some activity of daily life, and not because of something physical, but because of a cognitive problem. It may be, for example, that a person is not able to dress him/herself because he/she is not able to plan the order in which he/she will wear his/her clothes, or that he/she cannot cook because he/she does not remember well whether he/she has added salt to the food, or that he/she needs supervision when shopping because he/she does not handle money well.
All these examples, and those related to cognitive factors can be worked on online every day from home, thanks to NeuronUP2Go (NeuronUP home sessions).
With the activity called Get Dressed we can virtually dress up a character, we are presented with different situations, it can be going to bed, to the beach, to the mountain, and various items of clothing, which we must choose appropriately to the situation and place them on the character in the right order. With this activity we work the activity of dressing, planning, decision making and body schema.
It is also very interesting the activity that they propose us in NeuronUP, about calculating the exact money of an amount called Exact Payments. For example, you are given the amount of $192.64 and you have to put the corresponding bills and coins to reach that amount.
And like these, many more activities that are in the platform. Thanks to NeuronUP2Go I can program some sessions for my patients with adapted activities in difficulty, according to what they need.
During the pandemic has been difficult, but it has taught us new ways of living. Among them, using the screen more to do online therapy. Without a doubt, another opportunity to get better.
If you want to know more about distance occupational therapy and online therapy, you can visit my website: terapiaensudomicilio.com
If you liked this article on online occupational therapy, you may also be interested in the following articles:
- Occupational therapy for patients with acquired brain injury
- Occupational therapy: Characteristics, goals, and functions
- What is occupational therapy good for?
- Occupational therapy at home: what it is and how it works - October 27, 2020