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Monday, 5 April 2021

Occupational Therapy Corners

The last post about the stair rail attracted more comments than usual. They ranged from the resigned to the resolute. The gist seems to be ‘hold on tight as you descend the slippery slope.’

As mentioned once before, Mrs. D. is an Occupational Therapist. Not everyone knows what they are or what they do. When I went to register our son’s birth, the clerk asked for the mother’s occupation and then wrote “Occupation Therapist” on the certificate. “No,” I said, “it’s Occupational Therapist – it has ‘al’ at the end.” If I hadn’t checked again, I would have left that office with a certificate showing the mother as an “Occupation Therapistal”.

Occupational Therapists provide equipment and therapies to help people regain their daily lives after serious illness or injury. Mrs. D. therefore very much approves of stair rails and anything else that make homes safer. She also informs me that our stairs, being straight, will be perfect for fitting a stair lift.  

Another previous post, from 2019, included this picture of our kitchen. You may notice that the cooker hood protrudes at just the right height for clumsy tall persons to hit their heads. It has quite sharp corners. Heads tend to bleed rather a lot. I’ve now done it once too often. It’s much better today, thank you. I’ve just spotted that the cooker hood now has these neat enhancements. I call them “occupational therapy corners”. What next?


45 comments:

  1. Well, that's one reason for me to be thankful that I am only 5ft 3in tall (or short).

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    1. I'm not sure whether you'd be able to reach our hob.

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  2. Making one‘s home safe, and adjusting that level according to changing life situations (small children, recovering after an injury or illness, physical changes due to advancing age and so on, is a good idea.
    And even better when someone has expertise and experience in that area.

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    1. Everyone says to do these things before you need them. The thing is, I still refuse to think I might need them.

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  3. Even at similar height to JayCee I manage to fairly regularly crown myself on the damned extractor thing over the stove. It's one of those pull out ones so isn't always in the same place and whoever installed it must have been a pygmie. We could do with some Mrs D modifications around here.

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    1. She got them on the internet - I think these are "CalMyotis Corner Protectors", but there are other styles if these wouldn't fit a pull out extractor. The ones we've got are good. I've been deliberately banging my head to test them them and have not injured myself yet.

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  4. I trained as an occupational therapy assistant. It is a field with a potential to really assist people.

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    1. It's much more varied than physio or speech therapy but sometimes unjustly dismissed by the uninformed as "basket making". Mrs. D. has had roles with people who have physical disabilities, children and adults with learning difficulties, the elderly, those with life-changing industrial injuries, and other groups.

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    2. I believe that the job has many opportunities to do great things for people. But it was my experience that the jobs that I had were more basket weaving type jobs. You're supposed to be able to see improvement. I once knew a OT who's idea of therapy was playing cards with his clients. He wrote it up as improving hand function. I guess that I'm one of those bores who really expected to make a difference in people's lives. What I discovered is that the companies were far more interested in filling billable hours. I just never went back into the field. I will always feel ashamed that I wasted the money for that schooling.

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    3. There was an old idea that OT meant keeping people occupied while they were in hospital, but in the UK it is involves roles such as visiting and assessing people in their homes, for example to advise on making things easier for disabled children and their families. My wife worked for a time in a rehabilitation unit where people were recovering from life-changing accidents and injuries, some quite horrific. I doubt I could do it.

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  5. We've been waiting a year to have a stairlift fitted. It's all ready - they were poised to install it just as the first lockdown started. It's a staircase with turns in it so will take three people all day to install it! Hopefully it will be possible soon for the work to go ahead.

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    1. I hope we don't have to have one for at least another ten or fifteen years, but it comes eventually. But being an OT, Mrs. D. was commenting about how easy it would be to fit one here when I was in my forties and she in her thirties.

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  6. Because I broke my hip last October I have recently had to have a bone scan - I was amazed to discover that I have shrunk by three inches since my youth.

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    1. As long as I can touch the ceilings and open the loft hatch without needing anything to stand on, I reckon I'm still the same, but you've just highlighted something else that happens as we age. Is it mostly in the last few years?

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  7. The protectors on the range hood corners are interesting. Who would have thought you could buy such things.

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    1. For a mind-blowing experience try googling the images for 'furniture corner protectors'.

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  8. My Rare One was an occupational therapist too before she retired. OTs are extremely resourceful at problem-solving practical solutions to everyday living problems. I learned the term "RB Assist" from her and have seen it in action many times -- "Rubber Band Assist!"

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    1. They are indeed practical and resourceful. Rubber bands have uses you can't even imagine,

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  9. When I sold my last house the realtor listed things she thought I should correct. Of major concern to her was the basement, in which a tall man could bump his head in several places. In all fairness, the house was close on a century old and built by the original owner and his sons. They even dug the basement by hand. The realtor was concerned a tall man could hit his head on the ceiling while going down the basement stairs. My brother was a tall man who used my basement stairs regularly for the thirty years I owned the house. When I first bought it, with him in mind, I searched high and low and finally found two brass ducks and a brass goose, which I hung overhead on the stairs. Duck, duck, goose. I took them down when I listed the house. I rehung them for the realtor, my alternative being lowering the basement floor six inches. She was not amused.

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    1. If they drew your eye towards the ceiling then they would probably have been very effective (although soft ones might have been better than brass). There are also things you can fit to protect heads from the ledges above staircases (either to the ledge or to the head).

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  10. You must be very tall to hit your head on that! I wouldn't even be able to reach the hood. Over the years I have lost 1 1/2 inches in height so that I am now just barely over 5 ft. They say almost everyone loses height as they age but maybe some lose more! Your wife is in a wonderful job field and I'm sure she has helped many people over the years.

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    1. It's less than 6 feet from the ground. If I'm too near I hit my head when I nod it forward to look down.

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  11. Like your beloved, my wife also insists on putting things over the oven door handle - tea towels and oven gloves being the main culprits. As I am the main chef in this house, I am forever moving such items in order to look through the oven door glass at my culinary creations - especially my legendary Yorkshire puddings. By the way, if you wore a motorcycle helmet around the house as I do, you would be protected from serious head injuries.

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    1. I recommend Petr Čech helmets. They also protect against wifely kicks to the head.

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    2. And may I also draw your attention to your terribly sexist assumption Mr. P.

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    3. No you may not you daft girl's blouse!

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  12. Ergonomics Tasker. Everyone could have an house designed to their own personal requirements? Work surfaces would no lot be set at a standard height.

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    1. We'd both like ours to be higher, but the window sills don't allow it.

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  13. I have many memories of this with my mother. It comes to many of us, hopefully not all. At a certain age the younger generations have to face it with parents. As child-bearing age rises to late parenthood so the younger those young ones will be.

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    1. Hear hear with the 'hopefully not all'. I do seem to have had some silly knocks and scrapes recently. These things must be of concern to those who live alone.

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  14. That device is the same kind we put on the table corners to keep the grandchildren from coshing their heads. Covers possible injuries for all ages, all heights, eh? :)

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    1. Exactly their intended use: for children and other giddy people. Actually, they're brilliant, and surprisingly unobtrusive.

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  15. As a lifelong tinkerer, the first thing I thought about the hood corners, after wondering how the heck tall you must be, was: I bet I could do that with sponge type foam and, of course, duct tape.

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    1. So could I but it would look naff you cheapskate. I'm just over six feet. We could also offer our services to the manufacturer to design the fault out of their product.

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    2. Done! But we won't come cheap.

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  16. I've just measured myself to see if, at 74, I should still claim 170cms for BMI and stuff. Yes! But have you noticed that old men's ears often get longer? This was also part of the 'Flat cap and ears' of slow middle of the road drivers. Hope this is not too sexist!

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    1. I hadn't noticed that. Not as sexist as YP's comment - and his was seemingly unintentional. At least you can choose whether or not to have a flat cap. Don't old ladies ears get longer too? I suspect we keep our height for longer by remaining active.

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  17. Those little corner fittings are quite ingenious, actually. I can think of several places in our house where we need something like that!

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    1. It's incredible what you can buy if only you know there is such a thing. I'm beginning to think I should have been on commission.

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  18. Sadly it comes to us all. (If we are lucky, the alternative stinks as my Dad always says!) Sometimes I can't believe how much I ache when I get up in the morning but I think of my Mum who used to say "Never groan when you get out of a chair Jane, it's very ageing." I do try to remember this.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll add it to my list. Others on the list are: don't walk about with your mouth open, don't wear pale browns, don't be photographed in an armchair, but if you are, don't rest your head against the cushion. They're all "don'ts" so far.

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  19. A couple of hours with a really good occupational therapist changed my life, I don't twist and bend in the ways I did before, and simple tips and tools made so much difference in independence.

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    1. Thanks for visiting. It can be edifying what they make obvious, although you don't always see it for yourself until pointed out.

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