May 2013 |
By LESLEY COTSIANIS
Seeing an occupational therapist (OT) working in a dialysis unit or renal clinic is unique to the Manitoba Renal Program, but OT has lots to offer to people with kidney disease.
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists describes occupational therapists as working to help people participate fully in meaningful daily activities. They address not only the physical impacts of an illness, but also consider the psychosocial, community, and environmental factors that affect daily function.
As the Renal OT at Health Sciences Centre, I see people from the renal health clinic, as well as people on dialysis at HSC or on home hemodialysis, and even some people from the Local Centres Dialysis program. My goals are to help people with kidney disease to participate as fully as possible in day-to-day life.
Some of the things I work on with people are:
Being safe in their home environment. I often help people set up their homes to improve safety in daily activities such as having a bath, cooking, and getting around.
Accessing the community. I can help people access mobility aides or wheelchairs to enable them to do things they really want, even when getting around is difficult.
Getting support: Sometimes people have difficulty managing their daily activities. An OT can help you figure out what support is available and how to access it.
Positioning for home hemodialysis- to maintain comfort while doing home dialysis
Coping with having kidney disease and developing strategies to maintain good physical and mental health
And lots more!
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