Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SPINE FUSION - Occupational Therapy in real life

After patients are released, some medical insurance supplies home therapy--not just physical therapy and exercises.  An occupational therapist may visit the home and point out steps, narrow walkways, objects in the way of walkers, and tough cabinets to reach.

The therapist and the patient will soon discover some ongoing problems that aren't simple.

1.  Things That Plug.   Even when I worked as a decorator, I was never in a home that had the electric plugs at no-bend height except in the kitchen and bath.  Shaving plugs, yes.  Computer plugs - lotsa luck.  Somewhere in some catalog is a long gizmo that fastens a plug-extender at waist height so I can actually plug and unplug the laptop every time the tech says " just unplug it and then plug it in again."

2. Dishwashers.  Waist-height ovens are available for those of us who still dare eat pie.   The Barbie and Ken bending from the hip really doesn't help put the pie making dishes in the DW or cover all the acrobatics of re-organizing the dishwasher load until the door will close.

3.  The trunk of the car and most of the SUV load space.   Even the things we can reach are probably too heavy or too far down in the trunk or too far back in the SUV.   You can buy a six-speed car here, but the local auto parts places have not found me a gizmo that makes the trunk floor high enough for me to lift my less-than-10- pound belongings.

4.  Groceries.  Eighteen people have suggested the wire cart that rolls food home.  None of them can figure how I would get the food out of the bottom of the cart without bending.  I think I know how the cart should be modified, but I don't have a teen-ager handy to rig it up for me.

5.  Child car seats.  The acrobatics needed to install and uninstall a child from a vehicle are entirely outside of what we're allowed to do.  The people who ask you to baby sit will be unaware of this.  And borrowing your grandchild will be tough.

Yes,  there's plenty I've figured out how to do.  There's a mob of us, however,  who don't need a wheelchair or a lift.  The industrial design world hasn't even scratched the surface of what we do need for the only back we're going to get. 

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