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Being a Life-Long Learner Can Help You Age Well

As we’ve mentioned before when discussing how to support optimal aging, the old cliché is true when we talk of cognition – “use it or lose it”.  Just as we need to exercise our bodies for physical health, we must do so for our brain to support cognitive health.  Learning something new is a great way to flex the muscles in your brain, and the great news is you don’t have to sit in a classroom to do so.  Take a look at the following from the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal which discusses how online learning can support you as you age.

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal:  How online learning can support optimal aging

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O-Tip of the Week: No Need to Use Data with this Simple Trick

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. 

Spring Break is upon us so for the month of March, our O-Tip of the Week series will provide tips for traveling like a pro!

Did you know you can still use GPS on your smartphone without paying the high price of data usage in a foreign country?  It’s easy to do with Google Maps.  Before you leave download maps of the areas you will be visiting and when you arrive you will be able to use these with GPS for driving directions completely offline.  Learn more in the following care of Google Maps support.

Google Maps:  Download areas and navigate offline

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Protecting Client Confidentiality in Public: Laptops and Phones

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

My recent blog Confidentiality in a Coffee Shop:  Conducting Business in Private Places” highlighted the things professionals need to keep in mind when having private conversations in public spaces.  But the issue of privacy does not just include conversations that can be overheard.  It also includes using our electronics to carry out business anywhere where our screen could be visible to others. 

I was at two conferences recently where I was able to clearly see the work of others who were multi-tasking.  At one, a psychologist was sitting beside me and was editing reports with his computer on his lap.  His screen was fully visible. I could see everything he was doing including client names, claim or personal identifiers, and the written account of each individuals’ psychological assessment.  Of course, I had no business reading the material so I glanced away, but had I been interested, I could have clearly obtained information that was not meant for me, and information that a client did not consent for me to have.  In another conference example, a professional was sitting in front of me at another table.  She too was working on her laptop and I was able to see, even one table over, what she was doing.  She was not writing reports, but I did see her managing some personal financial material which I am sure she didn’t realize was visible.  As a close colleague, I reminded her at the break to be careful with her computer and what she was working on.

I am also often on the GO train venturing in and out of Toronto.  That is a hotbed of people working while they commute – on both their phones and their computers.  In my interest about this topic of privacy, I have noticed that some people have found ways to protect the privacy of their devices.  With some help from a trusted techy-friend, I wanted to provide some of these strategies to you, in case you are using your computer or phone to manage confidential or private information in public places:

APPS

On Andriod devices (sorry iPhone users) there are applications (apps) you can download that will put a filter on your device that allows you to only see the screen head-on, leaving those at different angles unable to clearly see your information.  Some of these helpful apps are:

EXTERNAL PRODUCTS

Products exist to put over computer monitors, laptop screens and phones that will distort the view from different angles.  For example, take a look at the complete line of privacy screen protectors from 3M3M offers an entire line of screen protectors that work on multiple devices and offer varying levels of protection.

The big picture is that the protection of privacy is everyone’s business, but this is especially true in health care.  Taking steps to conceal devices and screens is just as important as storing other confidential information properly.  The more portable our work-life becomes the more we need to safeguard the information we possess.

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Big Changes to Canada’s Food Guide – Will You Change Your Habits?

Last month the long-awaited revision to Canada’s Food Guide arrived and surprised many with some major changes to its design and content.  Personally, I am pleased with the changes which include a move toward plant-based proteins and I love the addition of guidelines around healthier eating habits like cooking meals at home, eating meals with others and more.  Check out Canada’s Food Guide and let us know what you think of the changes.

Canada’s Food Guide

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O-Tip of the Week: Avoid Tangles with this Handy Trick

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. 

Spring Break is upon us so for the month of March, our O-Tip of the Week series will provide tips for traveling like a pro!

Accessories, especially necklaces, can become a nightmare when you unpack and realize they have become a tangled mess.  Avoid this frustration with the help of a common item – a drinking straw.  When packing simply slip individual necklaces through straws and fasten.  This technique will keep them tangle free!

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My Child is a Picky Eater… Help!

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

Do you have a child that is a picky eater?  You are definitely not alone!  Picky eating is a common issue, and while it is normal for kids to have food preferences and dislikes, it can be quite concerning for parents.  The good news is an Occupational Therapist can help!

Occupational Therapists can work with families to create solutions tailored to the individual child. Some general suggestions may include some of the following tips:

  • Remove the pressure
  • Allow the child to “play with their food”
  • Encourage food exploration on their own terms
  • Maintain a consistent meal-time routine
  • Introduce changes and new foods slowly – overcoming picky eating is a very gradual process

Watch our popular video below to learn more about how an Occupational Therapist can help families overcome the picky eating problem and raise healthy, happy eaters.

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Accessible Emojis Coming Soon to a Device Near You 👍

Cheers to Apple 👍 for working with multiple organizations to create new emojis that “better represent individuals with disabilities.”  Though it will take some time for these emojis to be available on your device, it is a great step forward for inclusivity in our daily lives.

photo care of Emojipedia Photo

Learn more about the new emojis in the following care of Time Magazine.

Time:  Prosthetics, Guide Dogs and Wheelchairs: Here Come Apple’s Proposed Accessibility Emoji

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O-Tip of the Week:

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. 

Spring Break is upon us so for the month of March, our O-Tip of the Week series will provide tips for traveling like a pro!

Never enough room in your suitcase?  That could be because you’ve been packing it all wrong!  (or maybe you are packing too many pairs of shoes)  The trick to maximizing space in your suitcase is to roll your clothes.  Not only will this create space for just one more pair of shoes, but it will also keep your clothing wrinkle free!

Check out this great how-to video care of Travel and Leisure.

Travel and Leisure:  You’ve Been Rolling Your Clothes All Wrong. Here’s the Correct Way to Do It