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Author Archive for: jentwistle

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Better Sleep O-Tip of the Week: When it Comes to Bedding, Sharing is NOT Caring

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Statistics Canada estimates that approximately 3.5 million Canadians struggle with sleep, an important daily occupation that is vital to our physical and mental health.  Therefore, for the month of September we will be providing some of the best OT-Approved solutions to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Sharing a bed with a significant other can be disruptive, especially if one partner is tossing and turning throughout the night.  Instead of sleeping separately like the Flintstones, a better way to avoid being disturbed by your partner’s sleeplessness is to use separate blankets.  Whether you use a duvet, comforter or quilt you may find it more restful if each partner has their own.  Not only can this work wonders for your sleep quality, but for your relationship too!

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Will You?

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

I always assumed that as per Murphy’s Law, if I made a will, I would get hit by a bus as I leave the lawyer’s office after signing it.  Well, I have been through the will process twice now (revised when I realized my first will was created before my last three children were born), and good news, I am still here to write about it. 

I had a great conversation with a lawyer the other day about wills.  A very low percentage of the population actually have one, and if they do, half the time they don’t tell the family where to find it.  I was astonished to know that there is no “will registry”, and that upon your death your family could just make your will “disappear” if they didn’t like what was in it.  That is why it is important to provide a copy of your will to your executor and provide the name of your lawyer to family. 

My dad told me an interesting story of a man whose mother had died.  His mother never liked his sister’s husband, and in her will wrote out the sister, leaving everything to him as her son and executor.  His sister asked him about the will.  His response was “she left everything to us, 50/50”.  He went against his mother’s wishes in order to maintain the relationship with his sister and to prevent ill feelings after her passing.  Interesting.  But it begs the question, why write a will if people won’t follow it anyway? 

Wills are important for many reasons.  First of all, they do outline your wishes, even if not followed or contested.  They are your last chance to have the last word (literally).  But they also importantly outline who you are assigning as your Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Care or Finances, should you become unable to make such decisions.  This is essential.  I have received many files where I am dealing with the POA until my client becomes able to resume their own decision making.  Accidents happen, and you should be prepared.

This Globe and Mail article speaks very clearly about the importance of a will, and offers some great pointers to consider:

A legal will is worth the time and money

So, will you?

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What Makes a Building Truly Accessible?

There is a greater awareness in society that our buildings and spaces must be more accessible to the greatest majority of people.  But what exactly makes a building accessible?  Take a look at this fantastic blog care of the Rick Hansen Foundation that discusses how there is more to accessibility than just the physical space. 

Rick Hansen Foundation: From Where I Sit: Five Traits of a Meaningfully Accessible Building

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Better Sleep O-Tip of the Week: Adjust the Temperature

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Statistics Canada estimates that approximately 3.5 million Canadians struggle with sleep, an important daily occupation that is vital to our physical and mental health.  Therefore, for the month of September, we will be providing some of the best OT-approved solutions to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Attempting to sleep in an environment that is too hot or too cold can be difficult and disruptive.  Experts state that a bedroom temperature of 66 degrees F is the perfect temperature for quality sleep.  If you have a programmable thermostat schedule this in, or manually adjust the thermostat about an hour before getting into bed. 

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Foster Independence with Memory Mantras

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)

Being an Occupational Therapist can also be a curse when it comes to parenting.  As an OT, the goals are always functional independence.  As a parent, I am no different.  I remember a video I watched in OT school.  This was of a boy (young adult) with cerebral palsy and he was putting his coat on.  The video was probably 20 minutes (or it felt that long).  As I watched this boy struggle with his coat for what seemed liked eternity, I wanted to jump through the TV to help him.  Clearly, with some help, this could be done faster and easier.  But in the end, it was not about that.  It was about independence.

As parents, it is often faster and easier to do things for our kids.  Or, we feel the need to continuously protect our kids from failure by ensuring that we are their second brain.  But is this the right choice when the goal is to create people that can manage on their own?

I have created two memory mantras that are used in our house to ensure my kids are seeing the big picture and are developing some executive functioning (note I also use these mantras with my clients who suffer from memory impairment):

  1. When leaving the house our mantra is:  WHERE AM I GOING AND WHAT DO I NEED?  When my children ask themselves this question, they need to stop and think “I am going to X and thus need Y (water, shoes, birthday present, tennis racquet, money)”.  This prevents them from showing up at X unprepared.
  2. When leaving a place in the community our mantra is:  WHAT DID I COME WITH AND WHAT DO I HAVE?  By asking themselves this question, they quickly realize that they came with X and thus need to bring X home (coat, shoes, water, bag, lunch).  This prevents them from leaving things behind.

The success is in hearing my children repeat this to themselves when on their way out the door.  Recently, at a sporting event, we heard a teenage boy blame his mother for forgetting his water.  She was profusely apologetic and rushed out to find him a drink.  My children (who were younger at the time) turned to me and said: “shouldn’t he remember his own water”?  My thoughts exactly.

Originally posted June 2013

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Is Hitting Snooze Bad for your Health?

We have all been there.  The alarm goes off and you would give anything for just 10 more minutes… thank goodness for the snooze button.  Some people go as far as to set their alarms up to 30 minutes early just to have the satisfaction of pressing snooze multiple times.  However, as great as hitting snooze may feel in the moment, it may not actually be the best decision for your health.  Learn why in the following article care of the Cleveland Clinic. 

The Cleveland Clinic: Is Hitting Snooze (Once, Er, Maybe Three Times) Bad for Your Health?

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Better Sleep O-Tip of the Week: Banish the Blue Light Before Bed

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Statistics Canada estimates that approximately 3.5 million Canadians struggle with sleep, an important daily occupation that is vital to our physical and mental health.  Therefore, for the month of September, we will be providing some of the best OT-approved solutions to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Did you know that the use of technology, even having a television on in the bedroom, can disturb the amount and quality of sleep you achieve?  Powering down at least an hour before bedtime can help to ensure a better-quality sleep.  If you simply can’t live without a round of Candy Crush or an e-book before bed, try using a blue-light filter app to reduce the amount of blue light emitted.  Learn more about the detrimental effects of technology on sleep in our post, How Technology is Ruining Your Good Night’s Sleep. 

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Weekly Mind Bender

A detective is days away from solving a case of international oil smuggling.  He finds a note with a code that could help him solve the who-done-it.  The note reads:

710 57735 34 5508 51 7718

There are 3 suspects currently:  Bill, John, and Todd

Using this code, who committed the crime? 

Bill.
Solve by turning the code upside down. It reads:
“BILL IS BOSS HE SELLS OIL”