Close

Archive for category: Solutions For Living

by

Fall Prevention O-Tip of the Week: Invest in Indoor Shoes

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.

For the month of November, Fall Prevention Month, our O-Tip series will provide helpful ways to prevent falls at home and in the community.

Wearing shoes inside the home helps to ensure you always have a proper non-slip grip on all surfaces. If this isn’t comfortable for you, invest in a pair of indoor slippers or snug-fitting socks with grips on the bottom.

by

Enabling Clients in Lower-Risk Cannabis Use

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

Co-written by Kyra Posterski, MSc (OT) Candidate 2019 at McMaster University

 

In October of 2018, the Government of Ontario legalized cannabis in an effort to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, keep profits out of the hands of criminals, and protect the public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal cannabis.

The number of Canadians who report using cannabis has increased since legalization. However, cannabis use is not without both short and long-term risks. These risks include cognitive and psychomotor impairments, hallucinations, impaired driving, and dependency, as well as mental health, pulmonary/bronchial, and reproductive problems.  One advantage of legalization is that it allows for a more open discussion of risk behaviours, and the steps that can be taken to reduce these.

Given that cannabis is being increasingly used by Canadians, it is likely that OT’s will continue to encounter clients that use this regularly as part of our practice. Knowing the actions that client’s can take to reduce their risk when using cannabis is thus important for clinicians to realize and understand.  The Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines has been developed as an evidence-based tool that offers recommendations for users of cannabis products to reduce risks and improve their health. Using these guidelines, occupational therapists are well-positioned to educate clients on the actions they can take to reduce their risk, enabling clients to engage in lower-risk cannabis use behaviours. These conversations are especially important for occupational therapists working with clients that are at an increased risk, such as adolescents, pregnant women and people with a family history of psychosis or substance use disorder.

These guidelines present 10 major recommendations for lower-risk use:

# 1 ABSTINANCE.  As with any risky behaviour, the most effective way to reduce risk is avoiding the behaviour.

# 2 START LATER.  Using cannabis at a young age (i.e. before age 16) increases the risks for adverse health and social outcomes.  It is recommended that usage not start until at LEAST the legal age.

# 3 and 4 PRODUCT CHOICES. It is recommended to use cannabis products with a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and to avoid using those with synthetic cannabinoids.

# 5 and 6 METHODS AND PRACTICES. Smoking combusted cannabis negatively affects respiratory health; therefore alternative, lower-risk methods, are recommended (e.g. vaporizers or edibles). Practices such as “deep-inhalation” or breath-holding should also be avoided since these practices increase the intake of toxic materials.

# 7 LIMIT USE TO OCCASIONAL (e.g. once a week). More frequent or intense cannabis use is associated with a number of health problems.

# 8 DON’T DRIVE. It is suggested that people refrain from operating a motorized vehicle for at least six hours or longer after using cannabis. Cannabis impairs skills that are critical for driving (e.g. attention) and driving while impaired from cannabis increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

# 9 CONSIDER YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION.  Some populations who are at a higher risk for cannabis-related health problems should abstain from using cannabis altogether. This includes pregnant women and people with a family history of psychosis or substance use disorder.

# 10 DON’T COMBINE.  Avoid combining cannabis use with other higher-risk behaviours—like those described already, as this may further amplify risks.

For more information about this topic, OT’s are encouraged to access the references below or to encourage clients to contact their treating physician for more information about safe use.

 

References

Centre for Addictions and Mental Health. (2017). Canada’s lower-risk cannabis use guidelines:  https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/lrcug_professional-pdf

Fischer, B., Russell, C., Sabioni, P., Van Den Brink, W., Le Foll, B., Hall, W., … & Room, R. (2017). Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines: A comprehensive update of evidence and recommendations. American Journal of Public Health107(8), e1-e12.

Government of Canada. (2019). Cannabis act [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/C-24.5.pdf

Statistics Canada. (2019, May 2). National cannabis survey, first quarter 2019. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/190502/dq190502a-eng.htm

 

by

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.

by

Stay Active for Good Health No Matter Your Age or Ability

Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do for your mental, physical and cognitive health.  It is recommended that adults have 150 minutes per week of heart-pumping activity and the good news is that no matter your age or ability there are activities anyone can engage in.  Take a look at the following care of Participaction that provides some great resources on how anyone can be active.

Participaction:  Activity is for Everyone– How to Get Active at any Age or Ability

by

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.

by

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.

 

by

Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer affects 1 in 9 women in their lifetime. Many of you may know someone or may yourself have been affected by breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the following resources from the Canadian Cancer Society can help you to be educated about breast health, offering many lifestyle tips to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer and help you attain your optimal health.

Canadian Cancer Society:  Breast Cancer

by

The Accessible Playground

How does your local playground stack up when it comes to access for all?  Is it accessible?  Older playgrounds were not built with accessibility in mind; however, newer builds are breaking barriers for users with not only physical disabilities but invisible disabilities such as autism and sensory processing disorders.  In the following article learn more about how the universal design of playgrounds is becoming standard, creating more welcoming spaces for children and youth of all abilities.

The Globe and Mail: Playgrounds can alienate children with disabilities. Now, they’re being built with accessibility in mind