One Handed Strategies for Community Living Activities

presented by Debra Latour

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Occupational therapists advise and counsel clients on strategies to increase functional independence and improve quality of life. Many occupational therapists struggle with knowing how to demonstrate adaptive strategies to clients who have suffered loss or loss of function of one hand to complete functional activities. This four-part series is directed toward completion of bi-manual tasks using such adaptive strategies with one hand, the residual limb, and a prosthesis, and may include the use of assistive devices. This fourth course in this series focuses on strategies to complete tasks in the community outside of the home. These important activities, such as driving, using an ATM and managing money, and grocery shopping, present their own unique challenges that are important for clients to anticipate. Join Debi Latour as she personally demonstrates how to complete a variety of community activities.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Debra Latour, M.Ed., OTR/L

    Debra Latour, M.Ed., OTR/L

    Debra Latour has been an innovator from her earliest years. Debi wore her first prosthesis at the age of 14 months and then spent the years that followed working with the clinical team at Shriners Hospitals to improve upon their prosthetic designs. When it came time to decide upon her next step, Debi decided that a career as an occupational therapist was just what she needed. Not only could she combine her interest in art with her love of science, but she felt like her use of a prosthesis could really provide a unique perspective to her future patients. So, Debi enrolled at the Tufts University/Boston School of Occupational Therapy and then eventually received her Master’s in the Advanced Practice of Occupational Therapy from Springfield College. Debi’s career in occupational therapy has taken her around the world to present on topics related to successful patient care for upper limb prosthetic patients. She has been a featured speaker at events throughout the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands. For the past thirteen years, she has worked with pediatric patients through the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, MA as well as serving as an adjunct professor at Springfield College since 2006. Debi’s passion for helping people not only applies to her patients but also to all the people in her life. She enjoys spending a great deal of time with her immediate and far-reaching family members. Debi has also spent a substantial amount of time working on her new Anchor Technology that provides a completely new way for patients who use body-powered, upper limb prosthesis to have a more solid suspension system. Whether it is her family, her friends or her Handspring patients, Debi Latour is dedicated to helping to improve their lives each and every day.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Driving

    1. Driving

    Driving represents a level of independence in the community that is very important to many people. Join Debi Latour as she discusses the available adaptive technologies, as well as the myriad of safety considerations necessary for drivers with one hand.

  2. Gadgets

    2. Gadgets

    In a modern world with many technologies, it’s essential to know how to utilize these gadgets in an efficient way. From managing currency and using an ATM to using a touchscreen cell phone, Debi Latour helps you guide patients with the latest tips and tricks.

  3. Occupational Tasks

    3. Occupational Tasks

    It’s not uncommon for individuals to fear how their loss of function in one hand may affect their ability to work. In this chapter, Debi Latour navigates the workspace with ease, and offers a variety of ways to set up the space that best suits the client.

  4. Grocery Shopping

    4. Grocery Shopping

    Throughout this series, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of preparing food and feeding oneself. Inherent in this process is grocery shopping, which can be difficult when items may be out of reach or too heavy to lift with one hand. Debi Latour addresses each of these concerns and more in this chapter.

  5. Leisure Time

    5. Leisure Time

    While functional tasks for survival and the completion of ADLs and IADLs seem most important for individuals who’ve lost function in one hand, it’s often leisure activities and hobbies that mean the most to people. Listen as Debi Latour describes a number of different adaptations that can be made so that people can maintain their desired activities.

  6. Social Skills

    6. Social Skills

    In this final chapter of the series, Debi Latour discusses what to do in uncomfortable situations that clients might find themselves in.