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Archive for category: Occupational Therapy At Work

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A Day in the Life of your “Occupations” — Bedtime Routines

Contrary to the traditional understanding of the word, occupational therapists define “occupation” differently. For OTs, the word “occupation” does not only include “paid” work, employment, or jobs. Rather, we define it as the way people “occupy” their time and as such it actually includes all roles involved in living (therapy for living, who knew?). So, for Occupational Therapy month, we will explore “A Day in the Life of Your Occupations” complete from morning to night, highlighting common important occupations and how OT’s can help when things breakdown along the continuum that is living.

This week we discuss the important occupations that arise before bed.  If you missed our “Rise and Shine,” “9 to 5 “Workday,” and/or “Eventful Evening” posts, we encourage you to view them here.

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A Day in the Life of Your Occupations: Eventful Evenings

Contrary to the traditional understanding of the word, occupational therapists define “occupation” differently. For OTs, the word “occupation” does not only include “paid” work, employment, or jobs. Rather, we define it as the way people “occupy” their time and as such it actually includes all roles involved in living (therapy for living, who knew?). So, for Occupational Therapy month, we will explore “A Day in the Life of Your Occupations” complete from morning to night, highlighting common important occupations and how OT’s can help when things breakdown along the continuum that is living.

This week we discuss the important occupations that arise in the typical evening. If you missed our “Rise and Shine” and/or “9 to 5 Workday” posts you can view them here.

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Healthy Workplace O-Tip of the Week: Properly Set Up Your Screen

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.

October is Occupational Therapy Month and Healthy Workplace Month!  In celebration, for the month of October, we will be providing you with OT-Approved tips for a healthier day at work.

Many jobs today require long periods of screen time. If this is the case for your workstation, make sure that there is an arm’s length distance between your eyes and the screen. Also, make sure that the top of the monitor or screen is level with your forehead. This allows for the head and neck to remain in a neutral position by avoiding continued periods of looking up or down. If a job requires frequent paper reading or phone use alongside computer use, consider a document holder or headset.

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A Day in the Life of your “Occupations” — 9 to 5 Workday

Contrary to the traditional understanding of the word, occupational therapists define “occupation” differently. For OTs, the word “occupation” does not only include “paid” work, employment, or jobs. Rather, we define it as the way people “occupy” their time and as such it actually includes all roles involved in living (therapy for living, who knew?). So, for Occupational Therapy month, we will explore “A Day in the Life of Your Occupations” complete from morning to night, highlighting common important occupations and how OT’s can help when things breakdown along the continuum that is living.

This week we discuss the important occupations that arise during the 9-5 Workday. If you missed our “Rise and Shine” post, you can view it here.

 

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Mental Health Services for Youth

Nicole Kelday, Student Occupational Therapist (University of Toronto)

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

 

It is staggering to realize that 39% of Ontario high school students show active symptoms of anxiety and depression. And while there are a multitude of resources available to help students that may require mental health services, only 40% of Canadians aged 15-19 reported they have not accessed these when needed. This begs the question…why are these youths not seeking services?

Reaching out for help can be daunting and many report stigma related to mental health concerns, especially in high schools. So, how do we encourage youth to access the services available to them and talk to those who may be experiencing similar concerns? A new emerging trend in mental health care is the concept of youth-led groups. Youth-led groups involve a shift in thinking, instead of viewing youth as our clients; they are viewed as partners and leaders to improve the practice of youth engagement in the mental healthcare system.

Across the province, community agencies have begun to initiate youth-led groups by involving youth with mental health illness in leading each other to raise mental health awareness and fight existing stigma. With support from a clinical adult ally, youth have participated in the creation of youth-friendly services by designing waiting rooms in clinical environments to encompass the interests of this group.

It is known that participation in meaningful activities and roles can enhance emotional well-being and social competence. Occupational therapists (OTs) have the unique ability to evaluate and facilitate supportive environments in order to promote mental health amongst children and youth. By involving all key stakeholders, OTs are able to determine factors that influence the ability of a youth to fulfill their primary roles and occupations and provide interventions to promote maximal functional participation in such.

As a student occupational therapist, I could immediately recognize how this concept strongly resonated with the core beliefs of client-centredness. Youth-led groups truly highlight the client as not only an active partner but also a leader, in their healthcare experience. Youth are equipped with vast knowledge and perspectives that we as healthcare professionals may not immediately recognize, which may help to explain why youth are not seeking available services in the first place.

 

References

1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (2018). Transforming mental health for children and youth. Retrieved from https://www.camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/transforming-mental-health-for-children-and-youth

2. Hartman, L., Michel, N., Winter, A., Young, R., Flett, G. & Goldberg, J. (2013). Self-Stigma of Mental Illness in High School Youth. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 28(1), 28-42.

3. The New Mentality (2016). TNM Groups. Retrieved from https://www.thenewmentality.ca/what/tnmgroups/

4. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. Mental health in children and youth: the benefit and role of occupational therapy. Retrieved from https://www.aota.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/AboutOT/Professionals/WhatIsOT/MH/Facts/MH%20in%20Children%20and%20Youth%20fact%20sheet.pdf

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Healthy Workplace O-Tip of the Week: Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

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.

October is Occupational Therapy Month and Healthy Workplace Month!  In celebration, for the month of October, we will be providing you with OT-Approved tips for a healthier day at work.

Staring at a screen all day? Try applying the 20-20-20 rule… your eyes will thank you for it! Here’s how it works: Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get into the habit and you will significantly reduce the risk of vision-related headache and fatigue.

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A Day in the Life of your “Occupations” — Rise and Shine

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

Contrary to the traditional understanding of the word, occupational therapists define “occupation” differently. For OTs, the word “occupation” does not only include “paid” work, employment, or jobs. Rather, we define it as the way people “occupy” their time and as such it actually includes all roles involved in living (therapy for living, who knew?). So, for Occupational Therapy month, we will explore “A Day in the Life of Your Occupations” complete from morning to night, highlighting common important occupations and how OT’s can help when things breakdown along the continuum that is living.

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The Importance of Ergonomics

I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “ergonomics” before, but do you know what it means and more importantly, how it could benefit your organization?

Ergonomics is a catch-all phrase for the process of ensuring the body is in an appropriate position when completing daily tasks. Sitting, standing, bending, lifting – all these movements require the proper ergonomic position of the legs, spine, and arms to promote comfort and productivity, and to reduce the risk of physical injury.  Proper ergonomics is often most important at work, as this is where you spend the majority of your time.

Everyone deserves to be comfortable at work – from the front line staff to the CEO. When people are comfortable they are happier, more productive, feel valued and supported, and are less likely to leave work due to physical injury from poor office ergonomics.

Check out our informative video for information on how an Occupational Therapist can help in your office by keeping people at work, enhancing productivity, reducing costs, and promoting employee morale and satisfaction.

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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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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