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COTA Thoughts

I Can Do That

Published February 7, 2013 8:55 PM by Tim Banish

How many times have you had a patient tell you that even though they can't perform a task in therapy, they will be able to do it when they get home? Of course the typical reply to this is how will you accomplish this at home if you can't do it here, but that usually gets no reply.


            Sometimes life in the nursing home looks pretty good. You get someone to bring you meals, medicines, clean your room, and more. I think some people get used to the assistance and forget all the additional things that have to be done at home. Beyond the daily ADLs there are always additional things a person must do in their own environment.


While working home health some patients I remember appeared to have a serious lack of endurance, especially ones who had a lengthy rehabilitation stay. I remember one lady who always complained of being tired. After a few visits I finally found out she had returned to her former status of doing all the cooking, laundry, shopping, etc. for her family of three (lazy) adult children. Others I remember with endurance deficits were the types who had to have a spotless environment. As much as they weren't cleaning all day, they couldn't sit down for more than a few minutes.


Education these people with energy conservation techniques can help, such as sitting for some tasks, combining trips, or just scheduling heavy tasks throughout the week. Finding the correct answer to a specific problem is our job, and not an easy one as every situation will pose different question.


Back to long term care, I get many who ask why we stand so much to work on tasks when it could be done sitting down. Endurance is my answer, endurance for standing at the stove to cook, for pushing a shopping cart through a store, for carrying a basket of clothes to the washing machine, or to pick up that piece of lint under the couch!


Until next time, hope all your "Thoughts" are Good-



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