Close

Tag Archive for: solutions for living

by

Accessible Clothing Can Be Fashionable Too!

Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)
Co-Written with Jacquelyn Bonneville, Occupational Therapist

As occupational therapists, we often see clients experience issues with dressing after an injury or as a result of a disability.  How do you dress when you have one arm?  Or, how can you don pants, socks and shoes when you have not feeling or movement in your lower body?  What about managing zippers and buttons with reduced fine motor control?  Spasms, reduced range of motion, the inability to stand for dressing, or body changes that make clothing options limited?  There are many reasons why dressing can become a problem.

As a society use fashion for several reasons – to manage the weather, for privacy from sensitive parts, and as an expression of ourselves.  Clothing and clothing choices are important.

Business-wear and athletic wear are two areas of fashion that are generally limiting for persons with dressing challenges.  For this blog we wanted to introduce some simple, but still fashionable and functional, adaptations that can help manage the task of dressing if this has become difficult!

Lock Laces or Elastic Shoe Laces

Untitled-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elastic and lock shoelaces are permanently tied, and allow for stretch of the shoe when putting it on or taking it off. This makes it a functional, inexpensive solution for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about their laces coming undone (especially athletes!), or for people who struggle with tying their shoelaces tight enough, or with the intricacies of actually tying the laces.  Note that often these are great in combination with a long handled shoehorn.

Nike Flyease LeBron Sneakers

Nike LeBron Flyease Sneakers (http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/zoom-lebron-soldier-9-flyease-basketball-shoe/pid-10327129/pgid-10327127)

Nike recently announced their release of slip-on ‘wrap-around-fasten’ shoes that are fashionable, basketball style high-top sneakers (designed with basketball superstar LeBron James). Though designed for young adults with Cerebral Palsy initially, this shoe is suitable for anyone who wants some stylish sneakers, without the hassle of laces. See the press release for more information and a video explaining the story behind these sneakers.

Under Armour Magzip

ua

 

 

 

 

Zippers are often an integral part of our Canadian Fall and Winter attire to help secure our clothing to keep us warm. Zippers can actually be very challenging to co-ordinate for many reasons, and Under Armour tackled “fixing the zipper” in 2014 with their Magzip technology in a variety of unisex athletic-wear styles. The bottom part of the zipper is magnetic, meaning that it is far easier to ‘thread’ and pull up than a standard zipper, without sacrificing athletic hoodie style. See the press release for more information and a video explaining the technology.

One-handed Snap-Belts

belt

 

 

 

 

Standard business attire (or even picture day at elementary school) often calls for a nice belt, and there are many options available online for snap-belts that do not require the threading of a traditional belt such as the RD Adaptive Apparel Snap-Belt pictured here.

Rollin Wear Jeans

jeans

 

 

 

 

 

Jeans are a staple of many wardrobes, but they certainly shift and move when people are sitting or standing. For people who spend a lot of time sitting, including office workers and people who use wheelchairs, jeans can be extremely uncomfortable; jeans regularly have rivets on the back pocket which can cause discomfort while seated, they have the same rise around the waist so when you sit they are either too low or bunch up, and the front button can dig into your waist when you sit down.

Rollinwear has designed a line of jeans designed for wheelchair users that offer an easier ring to work the zipper, a clasp instead of a front button, and are overall designed with the different body position of a person while sitting instead of standing. Be sure to look online for other companies offering similar adaptive jean designs!

Part of the role of Occupational Therapy is to have insight and knowledge about products that will help an individual function independently, without sacrificing style, priorities, or efficiency. For more information about customized products that may work for your individual needs, speak with an Occupational Therapist!

As a last inspiring thought, check out this link to the story of a beautiful athletic-wear teen model with Down Syndrome who is changing perceptions of disability, while being stylish at the same time.

 

by

Summer Safety for Pets

We have posted previous on our blog about Summer Health Hazards for you and your family, but what about Fido?  Summer can be a wonderful time for pets, but it’s important to think about their safety during the warm weather months.  The following from Health Magazine provides some summer safety tips for dogs.  Check it out to be sure to protect your family pets.

Health Magazine:    5 Summer Safety Tips Every Dog Owner Should Know

Also remember that it is not safe, and not legal, to leave a pet in the car unattended.  Learn more about the dangers and what to do if you see a dog in distress from the No Hot Pets campaign.

by

Ticks and Lyme Disease — What you Need to Know

In Ontario, the number of ticks and the instances of Lyme disease are on the rise.  Many feel this is due to climate change, but whatever the reason, more than ever it’s important to protect and educate yourself about ticks and Lyme disease.  The following from the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation is a fantastic resource on prevention, tick identification, safe tick removal, and more.  Awareness is key to protect yourself and your loved ones.

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation:  Lyme Prevention

by

Safe Fun in the Sun

Summer is here and with more time spent outdoors and the UV index at its highest it is extremely important to protect yourself.  Proper clothing, sun hats, and shade all help, but many health experts feel the best way to protect ourselves is by regular use of sunscreen.  But how do you know which sunscreen is best and which sunscreens can actually do more harm than good?  Many of the sunscreens we use contain harmful chemicals and though they protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, may actually be harmful in other ways.

Check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Guide to Sunscreens” which annually rates over 1800 different sunscreens available consumers.   Visit the website and see how your favourite brand stacks up.

EWG’s 11th Annual Guide to Sunscreens 

 

by

Work Smarter — Not Harder!

Energy is like a currency, we only have so much of it and need to spend it wisely throughout our day. Conserving energy during small tasks throughout the day helps to save needed energy for important, meaningful daily activities.

Physical, psychological, and emotional difficulties can make everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, or working seem nearly impossible due to the level of energy required to perform them.

If energy is a precious resource to you or someone you care about, the tips included in the following OT-V Episode, Conserving Energy Everyday, will help you conserve as much energy as possible throughout your day.

 


You can also try our printable energy conservation planner to help you plan your daily, weekly or monthly activities for optimal conservation of energy.

 

by

The Secrets to Successfully Managing Your Time

Time is precious.  As we all try to cram more into our days, weeks, and nights we are creating unsustainable expectations for ourselves and for those that rely on each of us to get stuff done.  Whether working on a specific project or working to keep home, family and career running smoothly, the tips in the following infographic “Secrets to Successfully Managing Your Time” can help you to stay organized, stay focused and get things done!

 

by

Wash Your Car – Save a Life!

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

Previously posted February 2014

Working in auto insurance makes me slightly paranoid about issues of vehicle safety.  Ideally, it would be great if car accidents could become extinct and people could go about their business without running the risk of becoming injured in their travels, but currently these remain one of the main causes of adult and child injury, death and disability.  May is National Car Care Month and maximizing car safety should be on the top of everyone’s list year-round.

Years ago, in the middle of winter, I was driving home from seeing a client at night.  I was on back roads that were not lit.  My headlights were on, but I could barely see the road in front of me.  I struggled with this, assuming I had a headlight out, and managed to get to a gas station.  There, I investigated the problem and realized my headlights were just covered in the road sludge so common in Ontario winters.  I cleaned up my headlights with a window squeegee and voila!  I could see again

Prior to this, the thought of washing my headlights never occurred to me.  Why would it?  Unless you encounter a problem, this is not something I remember being taught in driver’s ed, nor something my parents mentioned to look for as I was learning to drive.  Some things we just learn in life the hard way – hoping to not be hurt in the process.

I remember when cars started to be manufactured to have headlights on automatically and all the time.  I said to my brother “I don’t get why headlights should be on during the day, they won’t help a driver to see better” and he responded with “it is so other people can see you better”, I am sure adding a brotherly “dummy” in there too.

The other day I was reminded of these lessons again.  It was a sunny day, but the roads had been a mess a few days prior.  I was driving in the right lane and needed to change into the left lane to make an upcoming left turn.  I glanced in my dirty side mirror and my rear mirror which was looking out my dirty back window, and I didn’t see anyone.  I checked my side mirror again, and noticed something that looked odd.  I focused more clearly and realized that there was another car to the left of me after all.  This was a black car, covered in the grey muck from the roads.  The lights weren’t on, and what struck me was how much this car was essentially the color of the road.   The road was a grey, dirt covered mess, and this car blended right in.  Had the lights been on, or the car clean, I would have spotted this easily.

Really, both these issues with visibility when driving – to see and be seen – could be tackled with a simple car wash.  Even if this seems futile with changing weather conditions, the short-term benefits are immense.  A clean car is easier for others to see, gives you better visibility when the windows and side mirrors are clear, and washes your headlights to make sure these are most effective.  Besides, of course, the other benefits of washing road salt and dirt from your paint job.  Many gas stations have a quick car wash adjacent to the pump, and allow you to pay at the pump for convenience.  Or, some car washes are even a drive-thru format and you don’t even have to leave your car.  In the end, when it comes to road and driving safety, the added expense of giving your car a rinse could be “priceless”.

by

Spring Cleaning 101

It’s Spring and for many of us that means “spring cleaning” time!  Spring cleaning is a great chance to deep clean some of the things you don’t do on a weekly or monthly basis.  Download our free printable Spring Cleaning Checklist for a list of those items we may often overlook to ensure you get a deep clean this spring, leaving you feeling fresh and ready for the beautiful season ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For additional helpful tools and checklists please visit our Printable Resources Page.

by

Closet Organization Solutions

With the arrival of spring it’s time to reorganize your closet for the warmer months ahead.  When season’s change it’s the opportune time to prepare for the change in weather by taking stock of what you have, purchasing any items you need, donating any items you no longer wear, and reorganizing so the clothing you need is accessible to you.

Use our printable Seasonal Clothing Inventory Worksheet to help you ensure you have all the items you will need for the changing seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For additional helpful tools please visit our Printable Resources Page.