Happy Occupational Therapy Month! To celebrate this AWESOME month, I’ve decided to participate in shannenmarie_ot’s ABC’s of OT Instagram challenge! However, instead of posting on Instagram I’ve decided to transform the ABC’s of OT challenge into blog posts to provide you in-depth insight to the occupational therapy scope of practice and to advocate for my future profession. Stay all month long for 26 letters + bonus days of occupational therapy advocacy or just read a post here and there. I hope that through this I can teach at least a few people something new about occupational therapy! Enjoy!
Letter A: Activities of Daily Living (also known as ADLs!)
All the things you engage in on a daily basis to take care of your body for basic survival and well-being are considered ADLs. ADLs include bathing/showering, toileting, dressing, swallowing/eating, feeding, functional mobility, personal device care (i.e. hearing aids, prosthetics, glasses), personal hygiene/grooming, and sexual activity.
So how do OTs address ADLs in practice? We can teach safe transfer techniques from wheelchair to shower bench for an individual recovering from hip replacement. We can teach dressing strategies for an individual who has hemiplegia after a stroke. We can provide a buttonhook to a child who has poor fine motor coordination. We can teach parents feeding techniques so that they can feed their child who has cerebral palsy. We can help to augment confidence for sexual activity for an individual with a spinal cord injury. We can make home modifications using visual cues on stairs for individuals with low vision. The list goes on.
I hope you’ve been enlightened on day 1! Feel free to post below with any questions/comments. For now, I’ll leave you with this picture of my friend, Jess, feeding me during our pediatrics feeding lab!