One and a half million Americans have lupus, and an estimated 16,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Lupus is a condition where the immune system attacks healthy tissue, especially in joints, organs like the kidneys and heart, and muscles.
May 10th is World Lupus Day, and it’s time to consider what care your mom is going to need going forward. She has lupus and the pain and fatigue make it hard for her to keep up with her daily activities. Her doctor recommends she starts working with an occupational therapist. How does occupational therapy help?
Assessing Her Ability to Complete ADLs and IADLs
Activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living can be difficult when you’re exhausted, experiencing chronic pain, and even dealing with some cognitive issues. An occupational therapist helps your mom find ways to complete activities while navigating the pain, forgetfulness, and exhaustion.
Occupational therapy will assess her abilities and discover ways to help her. After this assessment, a plan of action is developed. Your mom and her occupational therapist get to work finding ways to make it easier for her to complete ADLs and IADLs independently.
For example, your mom’s joint pain makes it hard for her to stand up from bed. Her occupational therapist can help her learn how to move in ways that don’t cause as much pain and situate herself before taking that first step.
Personal care needs can be hard to address when lupus makes it hard to stand for long. Your mom’s occupational therapist can teach her ways to prioritize and take care of her grooming and hygiene when her energy levels and pain tolerance limit how long she can stand.
Learning to Use Adaptive Equipment
Occupational therapy also teaches your mom to rely on adaptive equipment. If she has a hard time standing and sitting down, she may find it hard to get on and off the toilet. Grab bars and elevated toilet seats help.
Your mom may need to learn how to use a walker when the pain is extreme. An occupational therapist can help. And, if your mom’s fingers are too cramped to cut vegetables or meats, she could learn how to find other ways to manage, such as a food processor or ergonomic kitchen tools.
If your mom’s fingers are stiff, she may need to learn to use tools like speech-to-text if she’s having a hard time typing on her phone or laptop and needs to send a message or get someone to help. She may need to rely on services like that to make appointments.
When your mom has lupus, help her maintain her independence by arranging occupational therapy. She’ll have an expert assisting her with ways to make daily chores easier to manage, and you’ll see a definite change in her as she realizes she can maintain her independence. Call an occupational therapy specialist to learn more.
If you or someone you know needs Occupational Therapy in Rochester, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.