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 the 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 focuses on completing home management tasks, such as laundry, housekeeping, yard maintenance, and basic home repairs. Keeping a home and creating spaces that are comfortable and safe is an important component of life that many clients are eager to do independently. Join Debi Latour as she personally demonstrates how to complete each of these home management tasks.
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.
Folding laundry requires the ability manipulate items both small and large, which is easily accomplished when utilizing the strategies Debi Latour demonstrates in this chapter. Techniques for safely ironing linens and clothing, as well as how to hang them, are reviewed.
Making the bed with two hands can be challenging, so it’s understandable that individuals with the loss of function in one hand may feel daunted by the task. Watch as Debi Latour expertly makes a bed with the use of her prosthesis, residual limb, and then with just one hand.
Keeping a clean house is important to many people. Individuals who have lost the use of one hand often desire the ability to complete these tasks independently, but may not know how to use housecleaning supplies with a prosthesis, residual limb, or just one hand. Watch as Debi Latour demonstrates many housekeeping tasks.
Yard maintenance often involves the use of heavy tools and equipment, which might be intimidating to those with the use of only one hand. Debi Latour discusses many strategies and techniques for employing the use of these items in the yard and garden so clients can maintain the activities they enjoy.
The use of a hammer and screwdriver is common when completing common home repairs. Debi Latour shows how to safely use these tools around the home independently.